Last Friday (Mar 25), Dyson opened its new global headquarters (HQ) in Singapore, located at St James Power Station. What was once an old relic is now a new hub for technological development.
Certainly, the location is a curious choice – Dyson is a tech company known for designing and manufacturing household appliances and technology, so one would expect a state of the art, new building.
Indeed, why would Dyson choose to build its new headquarters in an old power station?
Why use an old power plant?
Founded in 1993 by James Dyson, the company initially produced vacuum cleaners, but has since grown into a multinational corporation that designs and produces all sorts of household appliances.
According to Roland Kreuger, Chief Executive Officer at Dyson, “The historic St James Power Station marks the start of the next chapter for Dyson as a global technology company. It reflects our continued commitment to reinvest in our people, equipment, and laboratories.”
And this design philosophy is also what inspired Dyson to make St James Power Station their new headquarters.
Singapore is a hub for Dyson’s research and engineering teams, as well as commercial, advanced manufacturing and supply chain operations. Over 1,400 Dyson people work in Singapore, of whom 560 employees are engineers and scientists.
While Dyson may have moved to a new location, the philosophy is the same. The building itself underwent restoration works, including repainting and replacing building materials to preserve the original architecture of the building.
Part of Dyson’s popularity is due to the unique designs that their products have. But this does not mean that Dyson’s products are all form and no function.
“All our products balance art, engineering, and science”, says Teo Boon Sheng, a Senior Design Manager at Dyson. “For us here at Dyson, we make the tech better, and the form is designed to follow the needs of the tech.”
Breathing new life into an old building
Judging from the outside, St James Power Station was generally all the same – apart from the addition of Dyson’s brand name on the chimney.
But behold the great transformation on the inside.
Visitors are greeted by two automated doors, which unlocked to show all four floors of the building. The abundance of natural light within the buildings seemed to demand immediate attention to the person who walks in, courtesy of the many tall windows placed all around the building.
The steel beams of the original power plant have been kept and are exposed, spanning the entire perimeter of the inside, and a glass lift connects the facility from floor to ceiling.
There is a display of Dyson’s products, alongside a special model of Dyson’s Corrale Straightener – one of only two, with the other one being showcased in Dyson’s VivoCity outlet.
Another part of the building is occupied by what Dyson calls the “History Walk”- featuring products all the way from Dyson’s first vacuum cleaner to its present day offerings.
In addition, there’s a model of Dyson’s own Electric Vehicle, alongside a huge screen that provides information on the car.
Clearly, Dyson values sustainability – as seen by it bringing new life into an old building and its efforts to build new climate-friendly tech.
Given Dyson’s design philosophy, it is no surprise why they have chosen to make St James Power Station their home.
Work wherever you want
While we may imagine a typical office to have neatly organised cubicles and a sterile atmosphere, Dyson’s headquarters is anything but that.
Instead, there are private workstations for individual employees to set up shop for the day, complete with couches for maximum comfort. For those preferring to work in groups or needing to have discussions, there are open tables, and an amphitheatre.
Alternatively, grab a bite at Dyson’s cafeteria or cafe while you finish your work – both are within the compound, and Dyson hires special chefs to cook for the employees.
For those who find comfort in an environment that reminds them of history, Dyson converted the former station’s chimney space into an open-topped meeting room – complete with exposed brick.
This arrangement gives the office an incredibly open feel – almost as if it was a shopping mall rather than the headquarters of a global company.
Want to join Dyson?
If all this makes you want to join Dyson and experience working in this environment, then you’re in luck.
As part of its investment into Singapore, Dyson is looking to hire more than 250 engineers and scientists in areas such as data science, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, machine learning, and more. In fact, Dyson lists more than 700 available jobs on Linkedin right now with many roles based in Singapore, our checks showed.
So if you want to contribute to sustainability efforts, and enjoy a workspace that puts you at ease and at one with nature and history, why not consider Dyson?
As Dyson’s Boon Sheng (an employee at the company who’s already enjoying the perks of the new HQ) insists: “Sustainability is something that is hot now, but Dyson stands by the philosophy that – it is in the design, that sustainability is achieved.”
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Featured Image Credit: Dyson