Symmetrics: IMPARTING A FRESH NARRATIVE TO THE AGE-OLD, RUN-OF-THE-MILL WORKSPACES
Offices are passé. Silos are long forgotten. New terms such as resimercial, biophilic and agile are slowly seeping into your place of work. And Symmetrics is at the heart of translating the complexities that lie in bringing these concepts to life in a very nuanced manner so that they can be experienced and not questioned by the workforce.
Ignorance is bliss. Or is it? Awareness of ignorance has always propelled the human mind to push the envelope to gain greater knowledge and embrace innovation. A visionary firm in Bangalore is on a similar journey – a journey where learning accrues with every new project. With a vision to deliver innovative, inclusive design solutions and bring to the forefront the idea of ‘one workspace doesn’t fit all’, Symmetrics has not only established itself as a go-to partner for multinational corporations nationwide but has also made a mark for itself well beyond the boundaries of the subcontinent.
With a presence in over 5 cities in India and Singapore, Symmetrics excels in providing strategic workplace analyses, interior design, infrastructure planning, architectural master planning and design and building services to corporations. Known widely for their expertise in IT/ITES, Banking and Engineering sectors, their work speaks volumes about their exceptional quality and raising the bar each time they execute a new project. Internalizing the philosophy of ‘Do it Once. Do it Right.’, Symmetrics has evolved a streamlined and structured work style that ensures that at every stage, every stakeholder is aware of their responsibilities to bring out the best quality in design as well as execution.
Over the years, Symmetrics have been in the process of delivering sustainable solutions to overcome mundane design structures at workplaces, thereby delivering enhanced efficiency and success to their clients and their workforce. Symmetrics has been instrumental in delivering an overall, holistic experience that meets the organizations’ guidelines as well as creating a positive impact on their work culture. The creative process for any project begins with going back to the drawing table and analyzing all the fundamentals of the program. This process eventually sparks a thought, an idea that slowly matures from a blank slate into a substantial and effective solution, translating the need, ethos and identity of the organization. At Symmetrics, everyone ardently believes in the premise that it is important to be able to imagine, remain curious and realize a common vision of delivering beyond the project’s expectations. This idea not only imparts a fresh perspective but also adds another layer of narrative to the story of every brand or organization that Symmetrics work for.
Symmetrics believes strongly in the idea of a design that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by way of efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy and development space and the ecosystem at large. It also endeavors to substantially cut down on the project’s carbon footprint and ensures that the sustenance of future generations is not compromised. With this approach, Symmetrics has laid the foundation for flexible workspaces that represent the highest benchmark of quality – a trademark of its diverse portfolio. A lot of their projects have been recognized and certified by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED like Wells Fargo (Platinum rating), Juniper Networks (Platinum rating), Honeywell (Platinum rating), Dell EMC (Gold & Platinum rating), eBay (Silver rating) and Morgan Stanley (Gold rating). With 98% of clientele coming back with newer projects, it is a direct reflection on Symmetrics’
customer-centric focus to deliver long-lasting satisfaction to their customers. One of the unique factors in the Symmetrics work style is the way they conduct a Workplace Analysis before narrowing down on a final program. This process is a complex one and at Symmetrics, they ensure every detail is considered. This data-driven design approach starts from understanding work patterns and studying workplace utilization to one-on-one interviews and visioning sessions. Detailed statistical analysis helps convert raw data into a brief that is tailor-made for the organization, its work culture and growth vision. This ensures a right mix of varied individual workspaces that enables interaction, collaboration and agility across the office. In every project that Symmetrics undertakes, it’s a treat to see how data and information converse with design to arrive at breathtaking functional workspaces.
In order to understand the concept of Workspace Analysis, the process can be deconstructed in Symmetrics’ work for Juniper Networks. A few observations here include the fact that at any given point of time a maximum of 45% of the workstations were occupied and this led to a further need in understanding the kind of collaborative work done outside of the individual workspaces. The analysis also showed that there were a multitude of 2 to 3 person meetings held at multiple points of time in varying areas across the floor in spite of the existing office catering only to larger formal meetings as per generic industry norms. There was therefore, a large imbalance in the type of meetings that were conducted versus the size and nature of the meeting rooms that were used. This brought to the fore an invaluable insight that veered from the initial brief requirement of larger meeting rooms. The study was instrumental in arriving at a strategic approach that navigated away from the brief while introducing a spaceoptimized, flexible space solution for Juniper.
The fast-evolving nature of today’s world has resulted in a paradigm shift towards digitization of the workspace. Today, a culture of collaboration and co-creation has permeated work cultures and redefined norms that have long prevailed in run-of-the-mill workstations. Workspaces are slowly moving into an age of flexibility, agility and neurodiversity. The spaces within the offices have also evolved over time and are now implementing new ideas such as activity-based workstations, evidence-based office design and most essentially, the incorporation of well-being of employees into design. These ideas have disrupted conventional spaces and transformed any given workspace into a dynamic and flexible playground for corporates to thrive, excel and be open to disruptive innovation. With over 130 projects (100+ Fortune companies) and over 13.5 million sq. ft. of workspace area executed, Symmetrics has etched a special place in the heart of corporations across the country and beyond.
The expertise of Symmetrics is not only restricted to designing timeless and modern-day workspaces but also extends to structuring and executing labs and data centers. Be it an aerospace testing lab or pharmaceutical grade clean rooms, the infrastructure and redundancy challeng-es along with safety restrictions can be infinite. But working within them to create a space that evokes emotion is an innate characteristic of the Symmetrics portfolio. With technology being the cornerstone of the modern-day workspace, seamlessly blending it in every aspect of design and execution has enhanced the end-user experience making every day more interactive and content-centric alongside providing undivided focus on improving collaboration and productivity. This is yet another hallmark of the Symmetrics’ commitment to the corporations they constantly collaborate with and an ode to the digital revolution that has taken the world by storm.
THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATE SOME OF THE DESIGN APPROACHES OF SYMMETRICS THAT EXEMPLIFY THEIR STYLE, PROCESS AND QUALITY STANDARDS:
An elegant, comfortable and future-ready workspace is a daily dose of enthusiasm for the workforce of the global firms who are the primary clientele of Symmetrics. One of the design philosophies has been centered around the concept of “Collaboration” (Collaborative Creation) that enables socializing, tactical interactions, collective problem-solving and public addresses with equal ease and comfort. The outcome of such an approach is a testimony to Symmetrics’ understanding of modern-day workplace trends and needs. Another approach has been to design trendy, contemporary, comfortable yet energetic spaces that stays true to the requirement of an agile, dynamic and collaborative environment. And a visit to the workspace of some of the multinational IT/ITES firms designed by Symmetrics will give you the answer. With the right mix of hot-desking, activity-based workspaces and agile working methodologies, Symmetrics achieves the idea of ‘We over I’ whilst delivering an intimate yet open environment that enables spontaneity and efficiency at every level.
HERE’S A LOOK AT SOME OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS THAT ARE A TESTAMENT OF THE SYMMETRICS CONSISTENCY IN DELIVERING UNIQUE AND EVERLASTING DESIGNS FOR MODERN-DAY WORKSPACES:
- 1,00,000 sq. ft. – Globally the largest lab for Juniper Networks with a draw of over 18MVA of power with the highest density of in-row cooling systems
- 9,00,000 sq. ft. – Smart campus for Wells Fargo in Bangalore with more than 7,500 seats
- 7,60,000 sq. ft. – Campus for Honeywell in Bangalore which hosts a state-of-the-art mechanical and aerospace lab spread across a space of 1,70,000 sq. ft.
- Global Design Partners for PPD, Optym, Great-West Financial and UST Global
- Revolutionized workplace design standards for Dell EMC, Juniper, UST Global, etc. using data-driven Workplace Analysis
- Zero LTIs (Lost Time Incidents) in the last 5 years; Over 1.9 million incident-free man-hours
- USGBC LEED Platinum rating for multiple projects including Wells Fargo, Dell EMC, Juniper, etc.
THE THREE BRAINBOXES BEHIND SYMMETRICS
The Creative Genius Sameesh Abraham – Head, Design
Sameesh has successfully delivered projects of varied sizes during his 22-year career. His leadership and design expertise have driven multiple successful and new business opportunities. He is responsible for the overall design strategy for projects. He is also deeply involved in spatial design, concept development and infrastructure planning while ensuring budget optimization and other project-centric deliverables.
When not at work, he loves spending his time travelling the globe. He thoroughly enjoys his long, meditative hiking vacations while being at his second home in Waiheke Island, New Zealand. He also spends his time playing Scrabble or skimming through the pages of Calvin & Hobbes. An ardent Single Malt collector and dog lover, he loves kicking back to the music of Dylan, Waters and the Grateful Dead.
“At Symmetrics, we collectively strive to achieve an artistic yet innovative vision in every design that we execute. With every project, every workspace, we’re constantly trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible within a given space. Our philosophy of Inspiration, Intuition and Innovation is at the heart of everything we do. And all we hope as a firm is to grow holistically and be synonymous with our philosophy amongst the workspace design community.”
Symmetrics takes inspiration from the quote by Bruno Zevi – “Architecture is the dark side of the moon.”, and we strongly believe that Symmetrics is your partner to decode the myths and conventions while leaping forth into the workspaces of tomorrow.
The Financial Mastermind
Rijo Kareem – Head, Finance & Procurement
With over 18 years of experience in the architecture, interior and construction industry, Rijo effectively handles projects with a focus on cost management, procurement and contract administration, project schedules and programming and post-construction close-out documentation. Rijo heads the Finance & Procurement team at Symmetrics. His multiple initiatives for Symmetrics are aimed at achieving higher cost optimization in projects to pass on project cost benefits and cost-efficacy to clients. He also has expertise in handling taxation structures especially with regards to STPI and SEZ benefits.
When not at work, he’s a voracious reader and has a playlist set for every reading. He also loves to take long trips on his bike and doesn’t shy away from cycling to keep himself fit and healthy. He also spends a lot of time with his kids, regularly taking them out for various activities during weekends.
“ The pursuit of balance in everything we do is what I ensure. Having said that, there are certain things that we don’t compromise on, especially when it comes to the quality of our work. Quality starts with an ‘S’.”
The Implementation Expert
Abhishek Sundaram – Head, Project Management Services
Abhishek has been an Architect and Project Manager for the past 20 years and is a reputed and respected member amongst the architects in the industry. He presently heads the Project Management team at Symmetrics. His portfolio includes Project Management and Infrastructure Design with a focus on project implementation, planning, risk management and engineering sustainability. He has extensive international exposure when it comes to the design and construction industry in the areas of corporate interiors, labs and data centers, retail, entertainment, commercial and industrial architecture.
And when he’s not working, he loves to spend time with his 7-year-old son, introducing him to adventure sports and camping. He’s also a co-founder of the Bangalore Pandhis Motorcycle Club and is an avid enthusiast of Harley and Ducati motorcycles. He’s also a Randonneur and endurance cyclist. Apart from endurance sports, he has a soft spot for lenses and words. He has an eye for street photography and has a way with words in describing the essence and love for what he does.
“ All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.” – from the Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. I find inspiration in pushing my limits, both personal and professional. The challenges! They are an inseparable part of my life and work and find a special place in every avenue that I take.”