Our society has evolved drastically over the past 30 years. In the workplace, offices used to be made up of cubicles, and employees were encouraged to work independently. Today, with new tools and technology, there is greater emphasis on social collaboration, remote working, and making workspaces more comfortable to keep staff happy and motivated.
Cities worldwide have recognised the need to create imaginative physical spaces that balance the needs of society to live, work and play.
In our efforts to rejuvenate and enliven our properties, Frasers Property Singapore has sought to implement placemaking to better serve our tenants and customers. Placemaking involves the planning, design, and management, of public spaces to emphasise the experience when utilizing the space over its physical design.
Successful placemaking generates vibrancy to the area which creates a sense of community that leads to engagement, creativity, well-being, and collaboration.
Remaking of physical design
Following a S$45 million transformation, Alexandra Technopark (ATP) now boasts a refreshed and contemporary look, with more community-friendly spaces and greater connectivity for tenants.
The asset enhancement initiative (AEI) was done with the knowledge that a building’s features and amenities are a key contributor to its appeal when attracting tenants. Workplaces rich with services and amenities will in turn help tenants to attract and retain a talented workforce.
As part of the AEI, new amenities such as futsal courts, exercise areas, barbeque pits, and end-of-trip facilities for cyclists were built. These amenities were introduced in line with the Singapore government’s scheme to encourage healthier office lifestyles.
Tenants can mount their bicycle in a designated and secure space
A dedicated locker room, part of ATP’s end-of-trip facilities
For example, the comprehensive end-of-trip facilities were built with tenants who cycle to work in mind. These facilities, such as lockers, secured bicycle parking, changing rooms, and dedicated shower facilities, allow commuting cyclists to freshen up before they start their work day.
The newly created The Hub at ATP seamlessly connects the different buildings it serves and injects greater liveliness into the development by housing a variety of cafes, a new food court, a landscaped roof garden, BBQ pits and a function room.
Nature also plays a big part in rejuvenating a space. Tenants at ATP can head over to the Open Plaza located just outside Block A or escape to The Hub’s landscaped roof garden for a breath of fresh air or a spot of sunshine for a brief respite from the daily grind.
Creating an experience
More than just amenities, placemaking also recognises that there must be an emphasis on the experience when utilizing spaces. These include organising activities and events that allow its users to fully partake in the area’s vibrancy.
One of ATP’s signature activities is a TGIF Pop-up Bar that is held every first Friday of the month. Office workers are encouraged to kick back, relax, and unwind outside The Hub where they can enjoy cocktails, beers, wines and non-alcoholic beverages at happy hour prices. It also allows for an informal networking session and corporate bonding.
In partnership with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board, ATP also organises weekly fitness programmes such as Yoga and Zumba to encourage to tenants achieve healthier lifestyles.
The Sky offers lush greenery within the development and a panoramic view of the city
Frasers Tower is another example of us placing greater focus on providing working professionals and employers a flexible work environment.
Located within the central business district, the Grade A landmark development offers tenants four different community zones - The Sky, The Terrace, The Park, and a three-storey cascading retail podium The Oasis. These different zones provide a conducive and flexible working environment where creativity and collaboration can thrive.
For example, The Terrace is a communal breakout area ideal for creative thinking and networking events in an uplifting green environment. Equipped with foosball tables and resting pods, the space creates more opportunities for bonding and networking and contributes to a better balance of work, live and play.
The Sky is another community zone within the development. Covered in lush greenery, the communal roof garden is a key aspect of the workplace. The space encourages tenants to take breaks during the workday to aid their creativity or collaboration process. It is also designed to boost employee wellness by offering a tranquil spot for them to relax, get some fresh air, and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Placemaking meets preservation
Besides workplaces, placemaking can also take place at a larger scale such as the rejuvenation of an entire precinct. In the case of China Place, a consortium comprising of the asset owners in the area – Frasers Property Singapore, Far East Organization, Great Eastern, and Capital Square Pte Ltd (which is jointly owned by NTUC Income Insurance and ARA Asset Management Limited (“ARA”)) – was formed.
China Place is an area comprising of developments such as China Square Central, Far East Square, Great Eastern Centre and Capital Square
As one of the precincts accepted in the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme, Frasers Propety Singapore will be leading a four-year placemaking project that will transform China Place into a destination synonymous with a work-live-play culture.
With its conservation shophouses and commercial office buildings, China Place is a beehive of activity on the weekdays, with office workers swarming the area throughout the day, and a gathering spot for recreation and F&B in the evenings.
The interior of Fuk Tak Chi Museum, Singapore’s first street museum, located at Far East Square. The museum is one of the most popular tourist sites within the China Place precinct
The heritage of China Place provides an opportunity to highlight its rich multi-ethnic culture when curating a dynamic experience for all of its visitors. This involves creating meaningful and immersive events such as heritage trails, exhibitions and thematic activities to showcase the precinct’s history.
Other initiatives to reshape the area will include the implementation of better wayfinding signs, repurposing of existing laneways into useable spaces, and implementing car-free initiatives on weekdays and weekends to encourage more foot traffic and activities in the precinct.
The upcoming openings of two new hotels, Capri by Frasers and The Clan, by Frasers Hospitality and Far East Organization respectively, will also add to the overall vibrancy of the precinct.
Spaces of the future
Ultimately, as the needs of the workforce changes with the time to place greater emphasis on work-life balance, access to facilities, learning opportunities, as well as places to play and network, we must constantly adapt to meet this evolving set of needs.
Beyond just workplaces, it is also important to inject vitality and energy in the public spaces we operate in. This comes in the form of implementing activities or developing spaces with less physical barriers to promote interaction and collaboration.
Placemaking will be an important undertaking as we continue to reimagine and reinvent the spaces we operate in. As forward-looking developers, we strive to create refreshing experiences for tenants and shoppers, and be a part of the environment that drives their innovation and creativity.