Taking Off: A New Office Space In An Old Airport Terminal

Fasten your seatbelts! Check out this aviation-themed office space by ELTO Consultancy created for their clients in Malaysia.


The airport as a place for departure and arrival is always full of stories. The joint work space for GTR (Ground Team Red) and Teleport is located in an old airport terminal. GTR is a joint venture between SATS Ltd (Asia’s leading provider of Gateway Services and Food Solutions) and Air Asia (Asia’s leading low-cost carrier). Meanwhile, Teleport is the cargo and logistics platform for Air Asia. Both companies believe work should be simple, like magic. Therefore, ELTO helped them create an office that connects employees’ ambition and imagination at work.

The experience begins the moment you walk into the space. Behind the reception counter, there is always a great view of planes taking-off and landing. This subtle backdrop helps to focus on the entrances of the two different companies under one roof.

The overall color palette of the workspace are neutral with an industrial look, so ELTO played with lighting and vibrant orange tones to enhance the design. To further balance the space, ELTO also used iron plates, rivets, concrete paint, and concrete flooring. For both company’s entrances, they stacked multiple layers of panels to form a tunnel-like architrave that leads into each workspace. With a perfect combination of form and colors, the youthful aspirations can be felt.

Casual meeting space

When walking around the space, the runway with light strips encourages movement as if a plane were taking-off. This clear directional track is the emotional intention to increase velocity and to gather momentum with high-efficiency at work.

The office area and the shared recreation area are divided with a row of perforated panels. ELTO added perforated panels which make the space open but also to give a sense of privacy to the workers. ELTO transformed airplane turbines into seating next to the waiting area, and also made a bar top with an airplane wing shape. The large platform in the middle of recreation area serves as a casual hang out place and also a stage for events. The huge wing art installation on top of the platform has become a signature landmark. These plane features serve as the medium for functional and emotional connection, as well as being the essence of the entire workspace.

This office design emphasizes the harmony between human and the environment – a place where people can freely interact and feel stimulated. With a younger workforce, ELTO fulfilled their desires for a workspace that is interesting and imaginative, productive and stress-free.

Casual meeting space in the center of the office

When was the project completed? 

The project was completed in December, 2019.

How many employees work here?

About 180 people

Meeting room

Describe the work space type.

It is an open plan.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?

There are enclosed meeting room and also casual discussion areas.

Open office area

What other kinds of support or amenity spaces are provided?

The other amenity areas include a dining area, food counter, bar, gym, training room, conference room, control room, working area and a VIP reception room.

Conference room

Please describe any program requirements that were unique or required any special research or design requirements.

The airplane runway element follows the actual regulation, for example the numbering on runway.

Open office area

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?

As GTR and Teleport are both energetic and young companies, the office design emphasizes this by creating an environment that is low stress while still allowing for productivity.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?

The light strips above the runway track. ELTO designed a wooden casing to hold the LED lights, so that the curved lines can follow the runway track.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space?

All furniture and workstations were custom-made. The aircraft turbines and wing installation make the biggest impact in the space. A special thanks to our partner Space Optimum who created it!

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?

GTR and Teleport are both related to the airline industry. The aviation elements are seen all throughout the space. Besides that, ELTO’s use of bold orange color represents the corporate brand identity.

What is the most unique feature of the space?

The aviation influence is the unique feature of the space. The reception desk made of rivets was inspired by the materials and joint detail of aircraft skin. Not far from the reception, it is a waiting area made of three aircraft turbines, where people can sit. On the large platform in the lounge area there is an airplane wing, which is the focal point and the soul of the entire space.

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?

There is a cafeteria-like pantry to cater everyday meals for employees. Employees can purchase food at the food counter. Also, there is a gym designed specially for the wellness of employees.

Were there post occupancy surveys? If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?

Yes – The employees really enjoy the aviation installation features, and share them at social media. They think this is a very cool office.

Who else contributed significantly to this project?

Chief designer: Chloe Liew from ELTO Consultancy

Project Director:  Samme Goh from ELTO Consultancy

Contractor: Space Optimum Sdn Bhd

All images are credit to David Yeow.

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