A verdant spine anchors the spatial organisation of an office inspired by both natural landforms and vernacular forms/materials.
This new office for Cairnhill Law in Singapore offers a relaxed biophilic environment to a rather demanding profession. Taking cues from the overall branding strategy and name of the office, we adopted a natural palette of earthly accents and material tactility to complement the curvilinear ‘’landforms’’. We were involved in the holistic design of the office from the interior design, furniture design to the various branding elements.
The spatial organisation is anchored by a linear architectural datum which incorporates storage, shelving, printing station, an informal meeting niche and an overhanging spine of flora. The aesthetics of the greenery draws inspiration from the tropical rainforest and was intentionally designed to be on the wild side, reflective of the flora in this region. Pockets of planters were carved out from the carpentry and placed strategically to allow the vines to grow and connect through the dried lianas overtime. This verdant spine also shields the private working cluster of the office from the more public circulation of their clients. Laser-cut felt pieces from leafy abstracts were custom fabricated to provide a softer acoustical cocoon for a meeting niche and cosy break-out area.
The curvilinear geometry of the partitions and carpentry are inspired by both natural landforms and vernacular architecture. The ‘’landform’’ aspect of the design takes on a rough textured stucco finish while the architectural components are addressed in the rattan canopy structure of the meeting room and mini-privacy canopies for the work cubicles. The meeting room is an abstract of the vernacular communal longhouse. The overhanging 3m long rattan canopy was designed in tandem with the meeting table to mirror each other in dimension and 2-dimensional geometry. The contrast of the custom meeting table surface against the dark charcoal painterly walls adds to the overall atmosphere of being in a primitive hut. On a smaller scale, the work cubicles were designed to provide more visual privacy through partitions and rattan woven screens, configured to provide a balance between privacy and communication with the legal associates in their individual rooms. The utilisation of local materials and geometrical nuances was purposefully designed with the spatial branding of the office in mind as regional professionals providing personalised legal services.
We believe in merging flora with the office environment to provide a balance between mentally demanding work and spaces that provide visual relief. The creation of this verdant spine manages the different work flows of the modern compact office by defining work zones and circulations while accommodating pockets of wild nature. We silently hope the plants will eventually take over the pockets and spread on the surfaces they now inhabit.