This year, Geyer celebrates its 5th year in Singapore with a move to a bigger office. Caroline Burns, Regional Leader for Asia and head of the local operations, gives us a tour and reflects on how far the firm has come.
29 July, 2013
Established by Peter Geyer in Australia 35 years ago, Geyer is today a leading and award-winning strategic interior design practice with multiple offices in Australia. It also has a studio in Wellington, New Zealand and most recently, Singapore. The firm’s projects span a range of sectors including office, retail, hospitality, education and public spaces.
New Geyer Singapore office
From a one man (or in this case, woman) show, Geyer in Singapore has, in five short years, grown into a team of 18. It has also delivered an impressive 1.5 million square feet of office space. This includes the offices of American Express at MBC and MBFC, which won the Bloomberg award for “Best Office Interior” in Singapore.
To mark its fifth successful year in the country, the studio recently moved into a new shophouse office space at China Square Central that is double the size of its previous location.
Caroline Burns, Regional Leader Asia and Director of Geyer Singapore – the person recruited to establish the firm’s Singapore studio five years ago – gives us the tour.
“This space is really client centric and partner centric, says Burns. “We have close, long-term relationships with our clients and we want to provide an environment where they can come into the space, work with us, and be inspired.
“We always want to stretch our clients, stretch them to take on global best practices and create benchmark environments, and we wanted to demonstrate some of that in [our own studio],” she adds.
The Singapore office features various types of spaces for people to meet and work, including different kinds of collaborative spaces, some formal, some more informal. There’s an outdoor terrace for casual get-togethers or networking events. Staff work in teams on projects, and move around the office depending on the job they are assigned to. Also included are lockers for the employees to store their bags and personal items.
“It’s much easier to talk to our clients about changing behaviours and working in a different way when you’ve actually experienced it yourself. So we’re trying to walk the talk, in that regard,” Burns explains. “Now this will be the benchmark studio for Geyer.”
And what was it like for Geyer Singapore to take on the design of their own office?
“One of our values is to establish close relationships with our clients and have insights into their business, and if we should have insights into any business it should be ours,” says Burns. While she admits that it was a challenge, “because when you’re designing for a bunch of designers you get a lot of people with a lot of opinions”, she says that the workshops they held really forced the team to look at themselves closely in terms of how they aspired to work better, both independently and as a team.
Reflecting on the five years that Geyer has been in Singapore, Burns says that the decision to establish an office here as a regional hub had been a carefully considered move. And now, no longer a start-up but a “more mature business”, she says that they are keen to see how they can grow the Singapore business further. “Some of it could be looking at sectors [beyond office interiors]… [ones] that we already have experience with in Australia”.
We are “committed to staying [here] for the long-term”, says Burns. “And personally, I’m really very proud of what our team has achieved.”
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