GSK’s new Asia headquarters in Singapore

Rene Hillig
GSK’s vibrant new Asia headquarters fosters better collaboration and connectivity

GSK Asia House is the new headquarters for GSK’s Pharmaceutical, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare businesses in Asia. Located in Singapore and recently completed in 2017, the workspace houses around 800employees.

The purpose-built six-storey building is situated within a landscaped public realm, and designed with tiered horseshoe-shaped floors wrapping around a central atrium. The ground floor is open to public access, facilitating integration with the landscape and local community, and serving as an invitation for the public to engage with GSK. Facilities include GSK’s first shopper science lab in Asia, enabling the company to study consumers’ preferences and shopping behaviours in emerging markets.

Equipped with the latest technology and incorporating SMART design elements, the new building accommodates the needs of a mobile and agile workforce.

The aim was to create a healthy, stimulating environment designed to encourage movement and collaboration (what GSK calls ‘SMART working’). Equipped with the latest technology and incorporating SMART design elements, the new building accommodates the needs of a mobile and agile workforce. There are a variety of reconfigurable work spaces, meeting venues and interaction spaces to encourage flexibility, collaboration and movement among teams. Open plan work areas, together with an employee café, gym and recreational spaces, will also enable more social activity on campus.

GSK headquarters

The concept of activity-based working enables organisations to use their property assets to enhance their business, by getting the best from the interface between people and space. Smarter workspace strategies ensure that the space accurately reflects the business plan and actively enhances business performance.

Faithful+Gould has supported GSK with project, programme and IT management from project inception, through the base-build and construction phases and on to the occupation phase. Procurement has been via a hybrid design & build route, with independent concept design for the base building followed by the developer’s design input to complete the building, whereas the interiors were procured on a traditional design-bid-build basis.

Facilities include GSK’s first shopper science lab in Asia, enabling the company to study consumers’ preferences and shopping behaviours in emerging markets.

We have helped our client with numerous challenges on the project, including the logistics of building on a site with several protected heritage buildings which had to be integrated into the development. These have been used to accommodate a gym, fitness studio, meeting spaces and other support facilities.

The sloping site’s physical constraints brought design challenges for the enabling and infrastructure works and the construction of the building, making it more difficult to achieve the cost-effective and operationally efficient facility that eventually emerged. Close proximity to the MRT railway presented logistical issues to be overcome in our planning and scheduling.

This is one of the first buildings in Singapore to benefit from an underfloor air distribution system, a system often used in data centres, but less frequently in commercial offices. Chosen for its efficiency, the system required careful liaison with the supply chain to procure, install and commission it.

Our IT project management provided a central focus for GSK’s internal technology workstream leaders while we aligned their operational needs with the aspirations and schedule of the construction project. This is just one example of the way in which we liaised with the client’s internal stakeholder bodies, deploying skilled communication and balancing a wide range of different needs and priorities.

GSK atrium

GSK have not built a commercial office of this scale in Singapore before, and we have been instrumental in guiding them in the local construction environment. Our 43-year relationship with GSK has enabled the new headquarters to benefit from the lessons learned across a wide range of their global projects. We have helped the company implement SMART working environments throughout United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Singapore, China and Malaysia. We have also worked with GSK on many of their R&D facilities and production sites, providing both project management and project controls.

*Photo credit: GSK

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