Grace, space, place
A long and intriguing corporate heritage, a move to better utilise space, and making a virtue of architectural necessity gave form to Societe Generale Private Banking's Hong Kong office
Building new brands is a challenge; but maintaining and evolving a well-established brand is no less stimulating a task for interior designers. In Societe Generale Private Banking's (SGPB's) case, the Group's brand roots reach all the way back to 1864, when the bank was founded to support French commerce and industry. Since then the Group's activities and geographical reach have expanded greatly, as has SGPB's identity as leading international private bank offering wealth management solutions to entrepreneurs and "high net worth individuals" with financial assets in excess of one million Euros. True to its European origins, the bank is also known for cultural passions in wine, art, golf and cinema.
This newly renovated workplace is the latest architectural/design expression of SGPB identity. The project began when, after a decade of occupying parts of two floors in Edinburgh Tower, Central district, SGPB decided to more effectively utilise their space and upgrade their capabilities. M Moser Associates - with whom SGPB had worked on previous projects in Hong Kong was called upon to enable the plan. As well as entailing a complete interior renovation, the project also involved 'restacking' staff without disrupting the bank's normal operations.
As designer Ziggy Bautista of M Moser Associates adds, the project offered SGPB an opportunity to do more than use space efficiently it also held the promise of a more effective space for their staff and clients alike. "It opened the possibility of being more creative with their workplace," he explains. "They'd previously been quite congested, and this was an opportunity for us to play around with the space and also give them more room to breathe. They'd no longer have to put up with tables abutting the windows and things of that nature "