Contract - January/February 2015 - 100

interiors awards

office: small

Client
Park + Associates

Architect's Office

Location
Singapore

Park + Associates

T
The architects'
design is
acknowledging
the structure while
confidently creating
new spaces with
new relationships.
A beautiful example
of the "anti-office"
look, the interior
takes full advantage
of the existing
structure and
provides an
inspiring and
sophisticated
backdrop for a
firm of creatives.
jury

By Edward Keegan
Photography by
Edward Hendricks
100

he architects of Park + Associates, based in
Singapore, executed a radical redesign of a
1960s vintage high school's library interior
for their own offices. The design is a distinct balance
between a subtle archeology of the relatively recent
past and an aggressive intervention that establishes
a remarkable new sense of place.
Park + Associates was the first of a handful of
creative tenants-including galleries, interior designers,
architects, and media and advertising agencies-in the
redeveloped building that had been abandoned for
more than a decade. The architects describe the
solution for their own studio as "a reaction against the
rigidity of the typical bureau" and dub the 80-employee
space an "anti-office." Situated under nine parallel barrel
vaults that run from north to south through the
building's fifth floor, the 8,200-square-foot interior is
configured as a series of discrete-and sometimes
eccentric-episodes that embody the firm's decidedly
individual approach to every project.
"Our design direction was to treat each area
as a separate mini project and to allow the visitor to
experience it when they are led through the spaces,"
says Christina Thean, Park + Associates design director.
The Park + Associates entrance occupies the
westernmost vaulted space on the fourth floor, where
an unfolded series of nonstructural black plate metal
arches that are nearly 27 feet tall create a memorable
arcade within the existing building's concrete
framework. "We wanted to make the first encounter a
space that makes people slow down and ponder-an
experience akin to that of an old cathedral," explains
Lim Koon Park, principal architect.
Adjacent to the light-filled entrance, a large
conference area opens to a lushly vegetated space to
the north. A stair of black folded metal-deployed as an
elegant object within the space-leads up to the main
office on the fifth floor. There, visitors encounter a series
of compressed spaces where 8-foot-tall dropped
ceilings obscure the barrel vaults and the decor is dark.
The interiors within this zone are varied and include a

highly decorated reception and guest lounge area,
and an adjacent coffee and wine pantry. In these warm,
intimate places, clients and designers can meet and
mingle in an informal way. The low, dark spaces provide
a distinct transition from the entry to the bright, well-lit
spaces of the double-height studios that occupy
three-and-a-half vaulted bays.
Workspaces for the principal architect and two
directors are located in three corners of the open office
and have very different configurations. Park, the
principal architect, occupies the most traditional office,
tucked within the northwest corner overlooking the
entry, and the project director is in the studio's
southeast corner with a more typical workstation.
Thean, the design director, required acoustic separation
from the main workspace and chose to erect an
aedicular frame of steel and oiled plywood in the
northeast corner of the open platform. From this little
house within the office, she is very much a part of the
studio environment while occupying a whimsical bit
of architectural theater.
The largest portion of the program is dedicated
to open workspace. Under the four vaults that had once
soared above the school's library, the new natural
light-filled interior captures the midcentury spirit of
the original building. The east end of the office houses
support areas, including the firm's library and what's
called The Stage, a place for furniture and accessories
to be displayed and stored. The variety of experiences
promotes informal gatherings that, according to Thean,
inspire staff to produce better work. But the heart of
the design is the enduring strength of the original
midcentury building's vaulted "bones" and the
designers' ability to embrace them as the most
uplifting part of their new offices. c

contractdesign.com 	

january | february 2015


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Contract - January/February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - January/February 2015

Contents
Editorial
Industry News
Columnist: Moving Practice Beyond Analog
Product Focus: A Family Affair
Product Briefs: Flooring, Seating, Textiles, and Wallcoverings
Designer of the Year
Legend Award
Annual Interiors Awards
Adaptive Reuse
Education
Entertainment
Healthcare
Historic Restoration
Hotel
Office: Large
Office: Small
Public/Civic
Restaurant
Retail
Sports
Student
Designers Select: Lighting
Sources
Ad Index
Installation: A Journey Through Austria Depicted on Screens
Contract - January/February 2015 - Intro
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover2
Contract - January/February 2015 - 1
Contract - January/February 2015 - 2
Contract - January/February 2015 - 3
Contract - January/February 2015 - Contents
Contract - January/February 2015 - 5
Contract - January/February 2015 - 6
Contract - January/February 2015 - 7
Contract - January/February 2015 - 8
Contract - January/February 2015 - 9
Contract - January/February 2015 - 10
Contract - January/February 2015 - 11
Contract - January/February 2015 - 12
Contract - January/February 2015 - 13
Contract - January/February 2015 - 14
Contract - January/February 2015 - 15
Contract - January/February 2015 - 16
Contract - January/February 2015 - 17
Contract - January/February 2015 - Editorial
Contract - January/February 2015 - 19
Contract - January/February 2015 - 20
Contract - January/February 2015 - 21
Contract - January/February 2015 - Industry News
Contract - January/February 2015 - 23
Contract - January/February 2015 - 24
Contract - January/February 2015 - 25
Contract - January/February 2015 - 26
Contract - January/February 2015 - 27
Contract - January/February 2015 - Columnist: Moving Practice Beyond Analog
Contract - January/February 2015 - 29
Contract - January/February 2015 - 30
Contract - January/February 2015 - 31
Contract - January/February 2015 - Product Focus: A Family Affair
Contract - January/February 2015 - 33
Contract - January/February 2015 - Product Briefs: Flooring, Seating, Textiles, and Wallcoverings
Contract - January/February 2015 - 35
Contract - January/February 2015 - 36
Contract - January/February 2015 - 37
Contract - January/February 2015 - 38
Contract - January/February 2015 - 39
Contract - January/February 2015 - Designer of the Year
Contract - January/February 2015 - 41
Contract - January/February 2015 - 42
Contract - January/February 2015 - 43
Contract - January/February 2015 - 44
Contract - January/February 2015 - 45
Contract - January/February 2015 - 46
Contract - January/February 2015 - 47
Contract - January/February 2015 - 48
Contract - January/February 2015 - 49
Contract - January/February 2015 - 50
Contract - January/February 2015 - 51
Contract - January/February 2015 - 52
Contract - January/February 2015 - 53
Contract - January/February 2015 - Legend Award
Contract - January/February 2015 - 55
Contract - January/February 2015 - 56
Contract - January/February 2015 - 57
Contract - January/February 2015 - 58
Contract - January/February 2015 - 59
Contract - January/February 2015 - 60
Contract - January/February 2015 - 61
Contract - January/February 2015 - 62
Contract - January/February 2015 - 63
Contract - January/February 2015 - 64
Contract - January/February 2015 - 65
Contract - January/February 2015 - 66
Contract - January/February 2015 - 67
Contract - January/February 2015 - 68
Contract - January/February 2015 - 69
Contract - January/February 2015 - Annual Interiors Awards
Contract - January/February 2015 - 71
Contract - January/February 2015 - Adaptive Reuse
Contract - January/February 2015 - 73
Contract - January/February 2015 - 74
Contract - January/February 2015 - 75
Contract - January/February 2015 - Education
Contract - January/February 2015 - 77
Contract - January/February 2015 - 78
Contract - January/February 2015 - 79
Contract - January/February 2015 - Entertainment
Contract - January/February 2015 - 81
Contract - January/February 2015 - 82
Contract - January/February 2015 - 83
Contract - January/February 2015 - Healthcare
Contract - January/February 2015 - 85
Contract - January/February 2015 - 86
Contract - January/February 2015 - 87
Contract - January/February 2015 - Historic Restoration
Contract - January/February 2015 - 89
Contract - January/February 2015 - 90
Contract - January/February 2015 - 91
Contract - January/February 2015 - Hotel
Contract - January/February 2015 - 93
Contract - January/February 2015 - 94
Contract - January/February 2015 - 95
Contract - January/February 2015 - Office: Large
Contract - January/February 2015 - 97
Contract - January/February 2015 - 98
Contract - January/February 2015 - 99
Contract - January/February 2015 - Office: Small
Contract - January/February 2015 - 101
Contract - January/February 2015 - 102
Contract - January/February 2015 - 103
Contract - January/February 2015 - Public/Civic
Contract - January/February 2015 - 105
Contract - January/February 2015 - 106
Contract - January/February 2015 - 107
Contract - January/February 2015 - Restaurant
Contract - January/February 2015 - 109
Contract - January/February 2015 - 110
Contract - January/February 2015 - 111
Contract - January/February 2015 - Retail
Contract - January/February 2015 - 113
Contract - January/February 2015 - 114
Contract - January/February 2015 - 115
Contract - January/February 2015 - Sports
Contract - January/February 2015 - 117
Contract - January/February 2015 - 118
Contract - January/February 2015 - 119
Contract - January/February 2015 - Student
Contract - January/February 2015 - 121
Contract - January/February 2015 - 122
Contract - January/February 2015 - 123
Contract - January/February 2015 - Designers Select: Lighting
Contract - January/February 2015 - 125
Contract - January/February 2015 - 126
Contract - January/February 2015 - 127
Contract - January/February 2015 - Sources
Contract - January/February 2015 - 129
Contract - January/February 2015 - 130
Contract - January/February 2015 - 131
Contract - January/February 2015 - 132
Contract - January/February 2015 - 133
Contract - January/February 2015 - 134
Contract - January/February 2015 - Ad Index
Contract - January/February 2015 - Installation: A Journey Through Austria Depicted on Screens
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover3
Contract - January/February 2015 - Cover4
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