Recently Buildings of Telenor Pakistan made a successful bid to bag a famous ADA Award, under the category of ‘Amenity Commercial Buildings’. Before jumping on to other details I would like to jot some information about ADA Awards. So Architecture Design and Arts Awards are held annually by a well- known Pakistani Magazine. ADA magazine covers everything about Architecture, Design and Arts. This premier Magazine not only features Pakistani work but also presents this creative side of Pakistan to the outer World.
The jury for ADA Awards includes people from relevant fields from UK, Turkey, Italy, Singapore, France, Beirut and Iran. There are also some big guns of arts and design field from Pakistan like Salima Hashmi and Khurram Kasim. Ceremony was also attended by the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi and Governor of Sindh Imran Ismail.
People behind this mesmerizing structure are two talented Pakistani architects, Yawar Jinali and Mehboob Khan. Co-incidentally I have visited this Telenor’s place twice and when I came to know that the same place has got this prestigious ADA award, a series of flashbacks just crossed my mind. So this premises is Telenor Pakistan’s Headquarters ‘345’ and it’s located in our capital territory Islamabad. As I have visited this place so following are some exclusive sneak peeks from Telenor Pakistan Headquarters.
Basically the whole premises have more or less six (6) blocks and every block has several zones. Obviously this giant HQ area is 15.5 acres wide so I did not visit each and every place but all zones are made in same pattern.
So every zone welcomes you with a chic coffee area. This Coffee area is a lounge with a lot of cushions and couches. There is also one TV so that people can watch News or whatever they want whilst having their tea/coffee. This coffee cum lounge area is fully based on self-service and funny thing is that if you ask office boy for anything he is totally allowed to refuse. It has American style kitchen where people make coffee for themselves and their friends.
Once you pass this coffee area, there comes a Social Area where you can see a bunch of Lay-Z-Boys, Bean bags and couches. This area is a sort of relaxing place for employees where they can sit and talk to each other.
Every zone has four small meeting rooms and one wide space/lavish meeting room. There are open work stations throughout the Headquarters. And then comes the mix sitting. No doubt this mix sitting is an ode to a great work culture. So because of this mix sitting culture you never know that one day you will be sitting with a newly hired intern and the very next day, your next-seat person is the company’s CEO. Moreover you can sit anywhere not only in your zone but in any zone you want to.
Another interesting thing is that they have assigned names to their meeting rooms. Each meeting room is named with the cities of Pakistan like Peshawar, Islamabad. I literally laughed when I heard one of the employee asking his fellow ‘acha aao Swat chalein’.
They also have Mosque, Gym, Badminton Court, Jogging track and even a mesmerizing lake. There is also one in-house coffee outlet of Café Barbera. Telenor ‘345’ also has one Daycare Centre, which is again a great plus. Company has a specially designated area for smoking and you are not allowed to smoke anywhere else. If they find you smoking out of this area you will have a compliance case (so better leave your cigarette tins at home).
Another interesting fact about this marvel is that there is not even a single switch board in any room or hall. All the power system is sensors based so once you enter in the room, the lights automatically turns on. One of their employee told me that sometimes lights turnoff in meeting room if you do not move for few seconds. There is one thing for what Telenor deserve applause and that’s their solar panel roofs. Telenor uses almost ten percent of its own energy every day which is a considerable amount for such large sized place.
So in my opinion Telenor truly deserve this award not because of picturesque buildings but also because of focusing on functional and environmental parameters while making their new workplace.