Rider Levett Bucknall’s state-of-the-art new office in Kowloon Bay has been designed to provide a transparent, open working environment to enhance efficiency and communication, as well as to adapt to changes within the industry. We examine some of its intelligent, stylish features and take a look at how the move ushers in an exciting new chapter for the firm.
For many large organisations, there comes a time to upgrade their premises. At Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), it became clear that a move would be necessary to accommodate all 500 employees together under one roof, rather than splitting them between offices in Shau Kei Wan and North Point, as RLB’s operations expand further.
In view of this, it was imperative to find a new office. Ling Lam, Managing Director, Hong Kong and China Practices, was tasked with leading the relocation project and, from 18 February 2019, all RLB employees has been housed in a superb Grade A office in one of the city’s most dynamic, exciting commercial centres: Kowloon Bay.
RLB’s new office in Kowloon Bay has been designed to embrace the latest technology in the industry. “We can’t accommodate new technology with old infrastructure,” observes Ling. “Our new office is equipped with advanced hardware and measurement software, like BIM and training systems, which can benefit our staff,” she adds. The move will also help RLB digitise by expanding its servers and implementing a document management system, which will lead to a paperless office. In time, these new initiatives will help improve efficiency and reduce the firm’s carbon footprint.
Promoting collaboration through smart design
Perhaps not surprisingly, with 63,000 sq. ft. of space spread over two floors, the most striking aspect of the new office is its sense of expansive openness. The office has been designed to make maximum use of natural light, with a large, floor-to-ceiling transparent curtain wall giving sweeping views across Kowloon Bay and beyond.
The inspiration came from other RLB offices across the globe and the result is an environment that is both chic and cosy at the same time. Clients will be impressed by a display wall at the foyer area, which showcases RLB’s rich heritage. The decoration features contemporary metal cladding, complemented with timber. Some walls are painted in a tasteful, fresh tone of blue, and the terrazzo floor exudes a level of quality that is reflective of RLB’s core business values. Yet while the new office retains a corporate feel, other details, such as a welcoming lobby area fitted with comfortable seating, and an abundance of sunlight combined with internal lighting, give a distinct sense of home-like warmth for staff, as well as for valued clients and business associates.
The office features two social hubs, one on each floor, which feature large rectangular tables so that colleagues can share and discuss ideas more easily. There’s also a purpose-built seminar room that accommodates up to 100 people. The space is extendable to the social hub, which creates a venue suitable for hosting large events. Within the working area, line managers sit alongside their teams while directors work within glass-walled offices so they are fully visible to colleagues at all times. It is no secret that the purpose of these is to promote greater interaction and collaboration between colleagues, as well as vertically between management, to encourage a flatter culture.
Benefits for all
Ultimately, the move to Kowloon Bay will have a positive effect on employees, not least by contributing to how RLB attracts and retains talent. “There are myriad things that attract young people to companies, and one of them is having a nice environment in which to work,” says Ling. Since the firm began conducting business in Hong Kong in 1962, one of RLB’s great contributions to the quantity surveying industry is its dedication to nurturing professionals. Thanks to the new facilities and technologies, veteran experts in the firm can pass on invaluable knowledge and expertise to the next generation with more efficiency and consistency.
The new premises will also better reflect RLB’s image. Although RLB is renowned for consultancy services which have been built up over half a century, the aesthetic appeal of the office’s design will reinforce this impression. By retaining staff and upskilling them to deliver consistently high-standard services, clients will continue to be unstinting in their appreciation of the firm’s services.
But for Ling, the greatest aspect of the new office is its open design: “Everyone will have the opportunity to mingle, discuss and debate. For younger employees, the sense of constraint created by sitting in cubicles will be removed.” By cultivating this culture of collaboration, younger employees today will have the opportunities and resources they need to become the bright leaders of tomorrow.
New Address of RLB’s HK Office:
15th Floor, Goldin Financial Global Centre,
17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
Other contact details remain unchanged as follows:
Telephone No.: (852) 2823 1823
Fax No.: (852) 2861 1283