OPENING QUESTION How can the generic office building typology be transformed to create a more distinctive building?
CLIENT’S BRIEF MOD was commissioned by CEL Development to strategise, brand and design a creative epicenter for the emerging black collar creative class, in the more gritty side of Singapore. In recent years, design firms have been migrating out of the CBD areas in waves, gravitating towards more affordable light industrial or warehouse districts, with larger floor plates and higher ceilings.
MOD’S DESIGN APPROACH Ministry of Design's design for such a commercial building capitalizes on these key traits and also introduces a number of key architectural gestures. These gestures aim to redefine the nature of such commercial buildings and also to provide an experience that adds a substantial premium to the development. Firstly, to exploit the sea-fronting context of the site, we have introduced a series of “stepped” balconies across the different floor levels. These allow the building to appear to be shifting away from the busy elevated highway fronting the building. Secondly, we have also shifted the building laterally to create a sense that it comprises a series of dynamic blocks stacked one above the other rather then a static singular block. This allows the building to create a unique profile against the skyline.
Thirdly, the facade of the building comprises a number of different elements which we bound together aesthetically: primarily the windows, balconies and air-condition ledges. We have intentionally blurred the definition of each element by layering a series of horizontal stripes throughout the facade. The stripes generate visually movement horizontally across the building and also emphasize the shifting and stacked nature of the different volumes. A palette of varying grays is employed to generate the variety of tones required for the horizontal banding. This horizontal striping is also applied consistently to the landscape and hardscape elements surrounding the building. Lastly, the interior experience celebrates a stylized industrial aesthetic through the bold use of feature lighting, materials and environmental graphics across the different floors. Key interior spaces include the lift lobbies and passenger drop off point and the building also provides a roof top garden space overlooking the sea. When experienced in totality, the project blurs the boundaries between the predictable commercial space and the gritty industrial space, creating instead a hybrid space, which offers an exciting alternative for the creative workplace in the 21st century.
BRANDING Derived from abbreviating the address 100 Pasir Panjang to 100PP, the name is both informative (of the address) as well as evocative of an energetic and contemporary environment. Symbolically, the number '100' alludes to perfection and completeness.