Large companies with thousands of employees often give just a cursory nod to creating an appealing, exciting and comfortable workplace. Enter the thousands of pool tables and vending machines that are supposedly making work more fun. Lucky for its 3,200 employees, one of Thailand’s leading telecommunications firms, Total Access Communication PCL under the dtac brand, did much more.
In June 2009, dtac gathered its massive team from six separate buildings and relocated them to the newly designed dtac House in Bangkok’s Chamchuri Square office tower. Now under the same roof for the first time ever, the dtac team occupies 62,000 square metres (about 662,000 square feet) on 20 floors, a move that marks the largest-ever office lease in Thailand’s history.
Opened to the media and VIPs on the auspicious day of 09/09/09, dtac House reflects the company’s desire to become the employer of choice, to enhance cooperation and communication, strengthen common goals, increase creativity and make it easier for the brand to react quickly to changing conditions. For staff and customers, the new environment aims to communicate dtac’s brand approach “play and learn.”
Australian Hassell won the competition to design the space and align it with dtac’s vision. Hassell created an open and flexible environment with natural wood, natural light and purpose-built spaces. Some of the highlights include a massive circular library amphitheatre, and an entire Funfloor with indoor soccer, table tennis, running track, and concert and performance spaces.
Other custom-designed spaces include the Conversation Pit, the Freeform Meeting, the Picnic Table and the Dining Room, all created to encourage informal, face-to-face meetings. An open terrace atop the building overlooks Bangkok’s skyline. It is easy to imagine that employees used to this environment would find it difficult to adjust to a boring row of cubicles ever again, in spite of the pool tables and vending machines. - Tuija Seipell
Sports brands, even those that are not official sponsors of the World Cup soccer tournament, are taking full advantage of the global celebrations and fan enthusiasm. In New York City, Nike is making full creative use of its Nike Stadium NYC, a multi-purpose experiential environment opened at the Browery Stadium in May and designed by New York and London-based architectural firm Rafael de Cárdenas.
In Nike Stadium NYC, Cárdenas has created a soccer-inspired space that feels right in the New York environment — not glossy or overly sleek, but somewhat lived-in, hard-edged and willing to take some wear and tear. Triangular wooden blocks allow for instant creative modification of the space, as users can stack them, sit on them or create their own seating areas.
At Nike Stadium NYC, various soccer-related programs and performances in architecture, design and art are taking place all summer and into the fall. These include film screenings, match viewings and other events, all focused on exploring creative expression of soccer.
Nike Stadiums are the brand’s multi-purpose event spaces that have so far opened in Berlin, London, Milan, New York, Paris and Tokyo.
Nike Stadiums continue to reinforce Nike’s reputation as a creative supporter of soccer — something that their 2007 Cannes Lion-winning Stadium shoe box represented well. A limited number of shoe boxes were transformed to resemble a stadium with an image of a stadium and an embedded sound chip. When you opened your shoe box, you saw a miniature stadium and heard the crowd cheering, and you could imagine yourself inside a stadium cheering along or, better yet, playing on the field wearing your new Nikes. - Tuija Seipell
When you think Italian fashion design, Armani, Valentino and Versace spring to mind, having paved the way for strong, bold aesthetics. Quality and tailoring is also intrinsic to the Italian sensibility. A new label that epitomises both has emerged from a 20-year strong lineage. Italian company “Paoloni Group” launched a new label “MSGM” recently with strong acceptance domestically and internationally with the likes of Harvey Nichols, Joyce, Lane Crawford, Matches and Browns plus being named as one of the best new emerging designers for Vogue Talents.
Created by and for a youthful demographic of under 35, the label has both a men’s and women’s collection. Blending comfort and function with a distinctly Italian preppy edge, the Men’s collection is fresh and modern yet combines achingly simple pieces together. The Women’s is more fashion focused with an emphasis on print and staying current to the season. Either way, this is one label to watch as they make their mark on the international fashion scene. – Kate Vandermeer
OMG! This is insane! Those were the most common — and in some situations the only — comments we made during our stay at Saffire Freycinet, the luxury resort that just-opened on Tasmania’s East Coast in Australia.
Very few resorts manage to get all the ingredients right when opening but we can assure you, this beauty of a hotel has ticked all the right boxes. We were literally left speechless — and that takes some doing — as we feasted our eyes on the breathtaking vistas, indulged our senses in our gorgeous suite and in the spa, and devoured the food that made any thought of a diet ridiculous. A four-hour walk on the pristine beach helped, too.
These were the first notes we scribbled just after departing: “Expectations were far exceeded. The resort, the location, the backdrop, the mountain walks, the spa, the room, the excellent service, the attention to detail, the happy staff, and the food, OMG the food! — Saffire is truly one of Australia's most exciting places to stay.” Without wanting to sound cocky, it takes a lot to get us to write something like this.
In the suite, the amazing bathroom was all marble with heated tiles. Our suite’s amenities included, of course, wireless internet and remote controlled blinds, but the best part was the sweet turn-down service. They supplied a hot water bottle for the bed and a thermos of hot chocolate as it is winter in Tasmania.
One of the highlights of our stay was Saffire’s restaurant Palate. The multi-course degustation menus matched with the outstanding local wines are the specialty of head chef, Hugh Whitehouse, who is an Australian icon and a master of fresh, local, imaginative food prepared and served with style, love and care. We would go back for the food alone.
Designed by Tasmanian architects Morris Nunn and Associates, Saffire consists of only 20 suites ranging in size from 80 m² (860 sq. Ft.) to 140 m² (1506 sq. ft.). The buildings are super-modern yet reflect the surrounding environment perfectly. Waves, manta rays, sand dunes are all forms that come to mind both inside and out.
The interior design, by Chhada Siembieda Australia (CSA) www.chhada.com ,takes advantage of the surrounding materials and vistas. Stone and timber are the key materials but they are used in a light, airy fashion. The color palette reflects the surroundings as well focusing on soft grays, greens and a snap of orange.
It truly was an amazing stay, and it felt sinfully delicious to work on our laptops while surrounded by this kind of luxury and gazing at the amazing views this place affords. - Bill Tikos
Rates start from $1550 per night, per suite for 2 people and includes dinner, all beverages.
The dark, gamine profile of this chair channels black-and-white photographs of prim Scandinavian living rooms of the early-to-mid 60s. Mother in a dress and pearls, Dad holding a pipe and wearing a cardigan knitted by Mother. Children in neckties and hair bows. Shiny and skinny-legged teak table surrounded by equally slim, dark-wood chairs.
This delicate chair is not named Bambi but DC09, which, in turn, reminds us of Alvar Aalto’s Artek and his product numbering. The chair’s thin seat and straight, slim legs disguise a deer-like strength and agility, allowing the wood to hug the body and the chair, elegantly, to take up minimum visual space.
DC09 comes from Milan-based Inoda+Sveje Design Studio, established in Copenhagen in 2000 by Osaka-born Kyoko Inoda and Danish Nils Sveje. Japanese Miyazaki Isu manufactures this chair in teak, ash or Indonesian rose wood. - Tuija Seipel
This little blue boat may be beyond our budget but some powerboat collectors will take advantage of the opportunity to bid on RAL5105 on July 20, when it will be auctioned off at Hôtel Hermitage in Monte-Carlo by the Parisian Artcurial.
RAL5105 is estimated to fetch 180 000 - 220 000 Euros. The “monochrome nautical sculpture” is the latest masterpiece of Parisian multidisciplinary artist Xavier Veilhan (born in 1963) whose work we’ve featured before. John Dodelande invited Veilhan to think about creating a boat, and after accepting, Veilhan worked with the 80-year-old Frauscher shipyard of Gmuden, Austria, to make it a reality.
Potential buyers had a chance to view it in Paris at Hôtel Marcel Dassault in Paris till June 14th. From there, it moved on to Saint Tropez (June 15 to July 12) and then to Monte Carlo on July 20th.
As the 6.9 meter, eight-person blue beauty is equipped with a MerCruiser 220 HP motor, the owner will most likely want to actually drive this boat, not just look at it. - Tuija Seipell
There’s not much about American muscle cars that scream hot pink, but the 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 manages to elegantly blend the strength of the form of the iconic design with the unexpectedness of the bold fuchsia color. The limited edition ‘Plum Crazy’ model comes with a matching seat-stripe insert, and holding true to the Challenger heritage, the hood has a raised center, black stripes and functional dual scoops. Of course purists can choose from more standard colors, but we all know the more vibrant option certainly caught our eye.
The philosophy “race inspired, street legal” underpins all Dodge models with Street and Racing Technology (SRT), and the Challenger is no exception. Muscle car enthusiasts can expect high performance in a car ready to tear up the streets – so anyone behind the wheel can look bad-ass – even in fuchsia. - Andrew J Weiner.
A year in the making, the new TCH marketing agency ACCESS AGENCY has been busy talking to global brands in every major city. We are setting up to unveil our latest creation for innovative brands -- the indoor drive-in cinema.
It is a super-charged, branded experience unveiled throughout the year in different cities with a unique mix of brands collaborating in each city.
In some cities, it will be branded Mini to unveil a new model (the Crossover). In others, it will be film studios launching the latest cinematic 3D release, or toy, electronics and beverage brands introducing their coolest, hottest innovations.
Each event will be completely custom-branded with its unique mix of participating brands and each experience will be completely unique to the audience.
We’re unveiling it here now for TCH readers so that you can get a preview of what it will look like.
This branded experience, and many others we have created, are our response to what we see as a mind-numbing sameness across the brands that we encounter. We are approached daily by global brands who want exposure on TCH, yet they seldom offer anything that would make you stop.
Today’s branded world is global, demanding and ruthlessly honest about what is -- and especially what is not – new, extraordinary, different, unique, surprising, bold, cool. Ordinary, bland experiences don’t cut it. They turn into YouTube parodies, or worse, are ignored completely. We tell brands to not waste their money on “creating” what has already been created. We’ve seen most of it somewhere already. As have our readers.
TCH’s reason for being has always been based on our passion for innovation, and for sharing with the world the real, exciting ideas we find as we sift through the masses of ideas we encounter – from design, architecture, travel and any other area. Over the years, we have developed a clear sense of what works and what doesn’t. We have understood that ideas are only as good as the execution, which is why we have gathered a global team of creative talent to not only come up with new branded ideas but to execute them with professionalism and finesse. That’s what ACCESS is all about.
We created it to meet the need that we encounter every day – the need to stand out in the sea of sameness. We know it is not easy. We know it is not common. And we know it is possible.
Brands wanting ACCESS experienc- get in touch
Here’s a glimpse at what we are working on.
The first OHWOW Book Club has opened its doors in a tiny 150 square-foot space in New York’s Greenwich Village. The retail space is located below street level in a historic brownstone on Waverly Place.
The black-and-white tiled floor and the turquoise walls create a decidedly aquatic mood although the designer, Rafael de Cárdenas, was thinking less of marine habitats and more of a classic pre-war NYC water closet when he themed the space.
Experience designer/architect Rafael de Cárdenas of Architecture At Large is a master of creating moods. In OHWOW Book Club, he has explored not only the sensations of disorientation and floating through neon lighting and random wall color patterns and placement of shelves, but also the feel of direction through the Navajo carpet-like tile pattern of the floor.
All of these themes are evident also in OHWOW’s Miami exhibition space at NW 7 Avenue, that de Cárdenas designed in 2008 and to which the Miami Art Basel crowd took right away.
OHWOW (Our House West of Wynwood) is a collaborative creative enterprise conceived by New York’s event impresario Aaron Bondaroff and Miami art and publishing powerhouse Al Moran. - Tuija Seipell
Genius idea - Dutch Football Federation - 2010 FIFA World Cup T-shirt.
Advertising School: Willem de Kooning Academie, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Creatives: Bas van de Poel, Daan van Dam