KASIKORN STANDARD. STANDARD BEYOND EXCELLENCE WITH THE LONG TIME STANDARD OF GOOD PRATICE
On one hand, it’s an annoyance that your organization is told to follow certain rules to meet the international standard although the organization is already at a higher threshold of your own standard. On the other hand, many of those certifications and standard work as a useful means of informing the general public of what and how each company is operating.
KASIKORNBANK has long been standardizing its own working method in terms of business, service, society and environment. KASIKORNBANK , Paholyothin branch was one of the oldest buildings in Thailand that had big space in front of the building right next to the street. Back then all big buildings were almost attached to the footpath to utilize all the space you could have. But this KASIKORNBANK branch was 40 meters away from the roadside,” recalled Karin Phoonuan, Kasikorn Group’s Construction Engineering Team Leader
“Now there’s law indicating how far your building has to be away from the road. But our building was further away from the legal limit, even before the law was enacted, to give more space to the city and to return beautiful blue sky to the society. Imagine how suffocating you’d feel looking up in the sky with all those skyscrapers blocking your view,” he said.
Phoonuan expressed how KASIKORNBANK cares about Thai society since the old days:
“We used to only talk about how strong and stable the building should be, and we never paid attention to energy conservation. But at the Paholyothin and Ratburana branches, we had incorporated energy saving long before the law was in effect, or even before people realized how important energy conservation was.”
The Ratburana headquarters was the first to win the environmental friendly and energy saving award in the ASEAN level. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. This good thing that we do makes us feel proud. We’d like to call this our ‘bank standard,’’ he added.
The latest KASIKORNBANK office on Chaeng Watthana road not only reinforces the “bank standard,” but also raises the stand bar of KASIKORNBANK up even higher.
“KASIKORNBANK office on Chaeng Watthana road is part of our contingency plan. Our facility management team wanted to have a back-up office to stabilize the service in case of an emergency such as natural disasters or political upheavals that may paralyze our system in the main offices. We wanted a place that was distant but not too far from the city. This location is perfect. The building plan is also better than other new buildings that place the elevators in the middle, leaving less available space,” he said.
Despite the fact that this building was refurbished from an old deserted office, the Kasikorn team looks at it as the biggest recycling effort in its entire history.
“We thought about the environment first. That’s why we recycled and refurbished an old vacant building instead of whipping up a new construction site. This way we didn’t have to bomb the mountains for concrete. Whatever extra we needed to change also fell under our environmental friendly concept. And, more importantly, we are Thailand’s pioneer in using wood that met the E0 standard because everything we do, we do it with excellence. That’s why we call ourselves K-EXCELLENCE.”
DESIGN BEYOND DECORATION by PIA
Since the standard of KASIKORNBANK adheres to social and environmental concerns,Kasikorn’s Chaeng Watthana, which was designed by PIA, also reinforces the “BANK Standard.”
“KASIKORNBANK gave us the different benchmarks—such as numbers of floors and building gross floor area—customized to the design goal of the company to make it an Operational Headquarters. We then brainstormed, mapped and planned the concept,” said Worapong Changchat, Executive Partner of PIA. “Most of the office space is devoted to operational area, so philosophy of space was first to be brought under our consideration. We tried to make use of the space to the utmost extent. To make it an interesting office, we turned our focus to an environmentally-design.”
PIA paid great attention to interior architecture to make Operational Headquarters become a place to support social interactions and connections within the office.
“It’s the connection and combination of interior architecture and interior design ideas. We created such connection and interaction by designing vertical linkage that needed nothing high tech but could save certain amount of energy. We used natural lighting from the top surface and the side facade of the building to supplement electric lighting. We also used platform to connect different floors, and we created an open space embracing casual working environment for people to mingle and share ideas,” he said.
The design team kept the office in a simple and clean way. But in some parts such as auditorium or multi-purpose room, the team adjusted the design to fit for purpose.
“Most of the area is for the operational use, so we basically designed the space for convenience, simplicity and practicality. We chose simple and appropriate workstations and organized them in a special way called ‘flat organization, the organization grows, we adopted flexible option for furniture arrangements and ensured a functional arrangement of the office area with optimum space utilization for now and for the future,” he said.
Despite posh workstations, lasting quality and strength are even more crucial, he said.
“This office may be different from other branches where people can feel and see edgy design and active appeal right away when they walk in. Rather, for this project, PIA pay more attention to suitability criteria and the concept because this is not a showroom, nor an office, but the Operational Headquarters that plays a vital behind-the-scene role in supporting KASIKORNBANK,” he said.
“The green project is about absorbing the ‘green’ value and becoming the part of it. This green project will even increase its own worth and be even more progressively important. I believe that the happiness of the users is the genuine goal of design for the quality of live.”