Opinion

The best office views in APAC

Google ShanghaiForget the pool table, the bar, the bean bags and the coffee machine. What makes a good office – apart from good people – is the view.

It’s a conversation point for clients, a source of inspiration for creatives and gives staff something to gaze at in meetings when they’re pretending to be brainstorming.

Mumbrella asked the industry to send in the best office view photos from around their networks – from Sydney to Shanghai, Karachi to Kathmandu.

The office flousy of office views is obviously Hong Kong, and there are no shortage of glam shots of the city whose skyline has been photographed to within an inch of its neon life.

This picture was taken from the offices of Turner Broadcasting in Oxford House, Hong Kong’s joint 102nd tallest building standing at 188 metres. Home to IPG, Warner Brothers and Time Warner, Oxford House has just about the best, panoramic view of the harbour, and this was taken on a peculiarly clear day, just before a typhoon came passing through.

Turner Hong Kong

Wunderman Hong Kong moved into their office on Connaught Road West 11 years ago to escape the nausea-inducing rental prices of the CBD. In return they get sunsets like this, and easy access to ‘Dried Seafood Street’ behind them, where they can enjoy the regular street protests against the sharks fin trade.

Wunderman Hong Kong

When staring at the sea gets a bit boring, on a stormy day the view of the concrete jungle with the backdrop of The Peak is pretty spectacular, here seen from the offices of Geometry Global Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Geometry Global

Just next door to Oxford House is Taikoo Place, a 42-storey building that houses Hong Kong’s biggest telco PCCW, and is also home to PR firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies Hong Kong. Taken from the 36th floor, here you can see the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which used to be airport before the powers that be realised that it is was sort of dangerous to land planes between high-rise buildings.

Hill + Knowlton Strategies Hong Kong

There’s something a bit Biblical about the view from ad agency Publicis Hong Kong in Kwun Tong at dusk.

View from Publicis Hong Kong in Kwun Tong

Hong Kong may have been utterly outclassed by regional rival Singapore in attracting media and marketing companies to set up shop there. But the Lion City still trails Hong Kong when it comes to its cityscape.

This view from the offices of BBC Worldwide at Springleaf Tower, also home to Omnicom Media Group‘s regional HQ, reveals a stretch of land that used to be sea, and beyond that the many ships dotted on the horizon of the world’s busiest sea port.

BBC office view Kalang

Though the sails of Marina Bay Sands and lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum may find their way on to postcards, Singapore’s biggest brag is its food. Which is why this view from the heart of the CBD, at the Havas Village, where Havas Worldwide and Havas Media live happily together, is not to be sniffed at. The curious octagonal building is Singapore’s grande dame of hawker food markets, Lau Pa Sat.

View of Lau Pa Sat from Havas Village Singapore

Views from offices in Kuala Lumpur, the town that town planning forgot, are basically the opposite of those in its squeaky clean neighbour to the south. Typically, a glance outside an office block in KL reveals a wonderful tangled mess of criss-crossing roads, tower blocks, mosques and patches of jungle splattered together like a Jackson Pollock painting.

The view from MullenLowe Malaysia‘s office overlooks the gateway from KL to Petaling Jaya. It might not feature the the city’s most iconic landmark (what, no Petronas Towers?), but staff do get real-time traffic updates of the notoriously congested city, and can tell visitors that the spaghetti junction beneath them was created in honour of the agency’s octopus logo.

MullenLowe Malaysia

The recently acquired digital agency Lion & Lion is located in the middle of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, but even so the Genting Highlands are just about visible in the background.

Lion & Lion Kuala Lumpur

Upping the ante in the KL vista stakes is Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia, which from its perch at Damansara Heights in a posh suburb about 5km from the centre, you can make out the silouette of the famous twin towers.

Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia

A little known fact about Malaysia’s neighbour Indonesia is that it is a golfer’s paradise. Suharto, the former dictator, enjoyed a round of golf with his cronies, and partly for this reason there are golf courses everywhere – even in the middle of the capital Jakarta where less decadent urban planning might have produced an alternative. Like a train line.

This view from Senayan City, a tower block occupied by SCTV, is dominated by the glorious Senayan National Golf Club, where stars from the Emtek-owned television station’s shows probably play a round of two.

Emtek Jakarta view

Not too far from SCTV (about four hours of sitting in the world’s worst traffic) are the offices of Indonesia’s largest media buying agency, Mindshare, nestled on the 23rd floor of Tempo Scan Tower in the city’s financial district known as the “golden triangle”.

View from WPP's office in Jakarta

Often compared to Indonesia because its rapid growth, large young population and emerging middle class is Vietnam. But commercial capital Ho Chi Minh City doesn’t look much like Jakarta.

The view from the offices of newly launched agency Red2 Digital, which lies on Phan Xich Long Road in the heart of the bustling Phu Nhuan District, is curiously light on skyscrapers for a high-growth Southeast Asian city.

Red Digital Agency, Ho Chi Minh City

The skyline looks even better when there’s a storm brewing, as there was from Y&R Vietnam in this shot taken by CEO Peter Skalberg.

Y&R Vietnam Saigon

Phnom Penh isn’t exactly peppered with high-rises either. Here, agencies tend to be located in residential areas dotted around the city, rather than the Cambodian capital’s one and only skyscraper the Vattanac Capital Tower, a lonely, 188 metre, 39 storey building that has barely any tenants.

Here is the view from the office of Havas Riverorchid Cambodia, where cranes puncture the skyline more than high rises (you can just about see the VCT, to the right of the grey building block, just below a crane).

Havas Riverorchid Phnom Penh

Southeast Asia’s much loved and most visited capital is Bangkok. Here is the view from the office of Blue Hive, WPP’s special unit for Ford Motor Company, taken artfully by Southeast Asia creative director Paul Grubb.

From Office window

The only city that can really give Hong Kong a run for its money in awe-inspiring cityscapes is Tokyo, where if you’re lucky you’ll be able to see Mount Fuji from your desk.

Here’s the view from Dentsu‘s majestic building in Ginza, with the Tokyo Tower a slight distraction to the snow-capped peak in the background.

Dentsu tokyo office view

Almost as good is the view from Google‘s office in Roppongi, the first office the search giant launched outside of the US back in 2001.

Google Tokyo office

In this photo taken from the offices of McCann Worldgroup Japan, the biggest foreign ad agency in the country, the white building complex nestled in the city’s only remaining patch of forest is the Imperial Palace, the residence of the future emperor. McCann is one of the only companies in the area to enjoy a view of it. Most have their windows designed to obscure their view.

McCann Tokyo

In neighbouring Korea (south not north), there’s plenty of greenery surrounding the headquarters of the country’s biggest ad agency, Cheil Worldwide, lying as it does in the valley of Namsan. Cheil sits in the Itaewon area, famed for its exotic cuisines.

View from Cheil Worldwide

For hardcore steel and concrete urban sprawl expanding at bewildering speed, nothing beats Shanghai.

The Shanghai office of Cheil is to be found on on Changshou Road, in what used to be the British concession.

Cheil Shanghai

The Shanghai office of Google, which enjoys a smaller presence in China than it would like, is to be found at the World Financial Centre, otherwise known as the “bottle opener”.

Once in a blue moon, when the sky is clear of haze, it is possible to get views like this one, when you can see from Hongqiao in the west all the way to Pudong International Airport in the east.

Google Shanghai

The view from Google‘s office in Taipei is equally hard to get bored of.

In fact, the Taiwan office, located on the 75th floor of the Taipei 101 Tower, is Google’s highest office in the world.

Google Taipei

Not quite as dramatic, but nonetheless imposing is the Tianhe District of Guangzhou, the Southern Chinese city’s most well-heeled, bustling area.

Here, staff of Wunderman Guangzhou peer out at an army of skyscrapers and tower blocks from OneLink Centre, the city’s seventh tallest building, along the Tianhe Road.

Guangzhou

Gritty Guangzhou couldn’t be more different to flashy Sydney, a city of beautiful beaches and bling.

Sydney specialises in pretty postcard vistas, and the folk at Wunderman Sydney won’t be too disappointed with this view of the Harbour Bridge from their digs at The Rocks. If there is a downer it’s that the Opera House is a bit tricky to see from here.

Wunderman Sydney

Happily for retargeting firm AdRoll, both the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are in view from their Asia Pacific headquarters, where staff wait for dusk to take Instagram-tastic pictures like this one.

Adroll Sydney

Sitting on the fringe of the CBD in Pyrmont is Hill + Knowlton Strategies Sydney, which shares office space with ad agency cousin J. Walter Thompson. On the roof is a terrace from which to take the top off a cold one and drink in the panorama.

Hill + Knowlton Sydney

Things are more relaxed in Sydney’s more down to earth rival Melbourne, as much a bunch of villages stuck together as it is a city. From the offices of Geometry Global Melbourne, staff can see the Shrine of Remembrance, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and beyond that, the wineries of the Dandenong Ranges.

Melbourne Geometry Global

As far as office views goes, it’s hard to beat having the world’s most impressive mountain range looming the background of your office in Kathmandu.

To the left of this photo (taken by Outreach Nepal‘s creative director Angad Basnet Chettri) is Bagmati Bridge, which connects Kathmandu and Patan. On the hill behind sits the Buddhist temple Swayambhunath. In the foreground are camps for people left homeless after the earthquake of April last year.

Outreach Nepal

Though not the most fashionable of Asia’s cities but an exciting growth story nonetheless is the capital of Pakistan, Karachi.

Located on Shahrah-e-Faisal, the main arterial road that runs through the city, the view from the offices of production company MWM Studioz reveals the dusty sprawl of Cantonment. Far in the distance, you can just about make out the tomb of Quaid-e-Azam, the founding father of Pakistan.

MWM Studioz

 

Got a better view from your office? If it’s interesting we’ll add it to this piece. Email: robin.hicks@mumbrella.asia

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