Located in a 10 storey building in the CBD, the new OCBC Campus houses a fully dedicated learning hub for OCBC Bank, a global leader in banking headquartered in Singapore. OCBC Bank has always understood and supported the significance of continual learning throughout their employees’ careers – with each employee regularly receiving multiple
learning opportunities. Having outgrown their previous learning facility, OCBC Bank approached MOD to strategize and design a new learning campus, which would not only
yield more space, but more importantly, redefine the learning process and environment for greater relevance and effectiveness.
MOD began the process by analyzing OCBC Bank”s existing premises and pedagogical processes, interviewing both training facilitators and employees. One of the key
conclusions from these observations was that the current generic classroom was restrictive both for the delivery of teaching materials as well as the active learning of the students.
MOD’s key response was to create a series of tailor-made environments best suited for enhanced learning, dynamic interaction and exchange, with all other design elements
taking their lead from this. The resulting campus building straddles ten floors, including lounge and reception areas, an auditorium-cum-event space, six floors of dedicated
learning labs and an office space for the OCBC Bank campus team; running programs for all strata of employees in OCBC Bank, from tellers to senior management, and their
subsidiaries such as Great Eastern Holdings and the Bank of Singapore.
Situated at the southwest corner of a busy traffic intersection, the Campus’ highly visible glass encases the ground floor lounge and entryway, buffered by lush greenery and sits off a sheltered walkway. The main double-height lounge space is visually anchored by a hovering sculpture designed by MOD, called (R)evolve, made up of powder-coated redand-white rings (see detailed description on page 3). The building”s entry sequence features an Installation Art Wall, a back-lit glass wall incorporating a text-based art installation: a series of gently pulsing key words related to the learning experience, with each word chosen to evoke the spirit of learning (Question, Imagine, Explore). This corridor leads to the double-volume naturally lit Lounge, which is also equipped with a stage for evening events and a variety of social environments. Nestled to the north of the stage is a more intimately scaled secondary lounge space. This lounge experience continues onto a Mezzanine level overlooking the double-height void. Magazine racks and computer terminals provide a variety of ways to engage over a lunch or tea break. Moving up a level, the entire third floor houses a dynamic Event Space which is flexible enough to hold large scale presentations of more than 200 guests or a series of smaller group gathering zones. This space would also cater to career fairs and open houses. Flexibility is achieved through a series sliding partition screens and loose furniture in different shapes and sizes. Key features include a ceiling trellis radiating to form an abstraction of the OCBC Bank’s logo as well as a permanent bar and server-counter. The OCBC Bank logo ceiling trellis is the second example of Installation art in the Campus.
There are four main typologies over the six floors of learning labs from Levels 4 to 9; each typology represents a specific learning environment, which redefines the conventional
Level 4: Learning Labs “Agora” Typology
The Agora Typology captures the spirit of the historic forums of old by introducing a series of mini amphitheater-style steps. These steps are aligned in rows across from each other and create spaces, which encourage dialogue and exchange for both teacher-led and group-led discussions. The timber-clad steps vary in height and contribute a sense of playfulness and warmth.
Levels 5&7: Learning Labs “Inside-Outside” Typology
These learning labs blur the perception of what is internal versus external space by creating intimate niches, which appear simultaneously inside but also outside of the main space. These inverted spaces facilitate and allow for group-led learning scenarios to occur more easily or naturally alongside instructor-led learning, generating a more complete learning environment.
Levels 6&8: Learning Labs “Pod” Typology
These learning labs are fronted by a series of uniquely shaped pods, which generate a selection of dual-use learning environments. Catering to small gatherings of either group or instructor-led sessions, these pods and the unique spaces they create, provide a sense of discovery, variety and choice, which are key elements in encouraging active learning.
Level 9: Learning Labs “Island” Typology
The learning labs on this floor are oriented around a central island, allowing for continuous visual interaction through glass view panels, which put the learning experience on display. Spaces for group-led learning are more fluid and surround the central island. The carefully selected furniture pieces can be grouped into larger or smaller clusters depending on the requirements of each individual group.
The range of materials and colours selected draw from and reinforce OCBC Bank”s corporate identity through a clearly defined palette. The colours red, white and grey are used throughout the Campus building and serve as background or accent colours. Floor, wall and ceiling surfaces are often treated holistically to create highly impactful and dynamic spaces. Stone, fabric and glass finishes allow for a variety of experiences, enabling the desired softness versus firmness; transparency versus privacy.