Natural light streams into the auditorium shaped structure.
Natural light streams into the auditorium shaped structure.

Gensler Spotlight: Asia Pacific Middle East

When Vietnamese telecom giant Viettel Group asked Gensler Singapore to create an iconic headquarters, its executives envisioned a tower visible across the capital. But site restrictions limited the height, so design director Carlos Gerhard came up with a creative alternative: an oval structure that would symbolize the future of Vietnam.

Visiting Viettel’s previous location, the Gensler team observed a rigid, traditional work environment where employees were siloed. “We thought our design should impact their behavior, bring everyone together, and create a sense of belonging,” Gerhard says. As a state-owned company, Viettel was not about to install ping-pong tables, but its chairman was ready to rethink the workplace, one embodying sustainable, biophilic strategies that yield productivity and align with the corporate identity.

The 448,270-square-foot concrete building was conceived like an extension of an adjacent city park. Gensler capped it with a green roof, which reduces heat gain and captures rainwater for irrigation. Five of its eight stories have, on either end, palm-laden terraces, where Viettel’s 600 employees can relax or take meetings. Since the structure is only 77 feet deep, natural light stream­ing in from the windows on both sides reaches the entire interior. Gensler also added a lush sunken courtyard beside an auditorium in the basement, where vis­itors least expect it. “Architecture needs to create surprises,” Gerhard adds. Amid the city’s blocks of high-rises, Viettel does just that.

The Viettel Group's headquarters provide a unique new shape to the city's skyline.
The Viettel Group’s headquarters provide a unique new shape to the city’s skyline.
Natural light streams into the auditorium shaped structure.
Natural light streams into the auditorium shaped structure.
Gensler: Carlos Gerhard; Audrius Liaugminas; Joan Capdevila; Antonio Pinelo; Liz Cuevas; Tram Cao; Jin Chuan Goh; EE Tiong Lim


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