UNDERSTANDING AND SETTING OUT CLIENT’S BRIEF
We were engaged to design the new office for William Grant & Sons. Founded in Scotland in 1887, they are a premium spirits company which distributes some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky.
Our design brief was to relocate the company from an existing office of 100m2 to a new office area of almost 300m2. The company was looking forward to an expansion with the relocation of their headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore.
We surveyed their existing office and became familiar with their premium brands of whisky, including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum. These well-known brands have developed a strong global following and they were accompanied by strong branding guidelines. These guidelines formed part of our inspiration for their new office interior.
PLANNING CONSTRAINTS & IDEAS
The new plan for the office has an elongated rectangular form. The windows are on one of the long side of the space which are made up of rectangular and trapezium shaped windows.
From the beginning of our planning proposal, we desired that the office be naturally bright with minimal necessity for ambient indoor lighting. The office would be a open plan office which enhanced and empowered the occupants for active and easy communication and interaction.
We designed the meeting rooms to be on the opposite side of the rectangular plan so that these enclosed spaces would not occupy and obstruct the window areas.
MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION
A central circulation spine permeates the office and is clearly demarcated by a strong grey tone on the floor. The path effectively connects the office from one end to the other. Therefore, it is clear that the open office plan takes the ‘bright'(natural light) side of the office, and the rooms for meeting and amenities takes the ‘light’ (artificial light) side.
Along the side where the rooms are located, we decided to ‘ventilate’ the row of rooms with ‘green lungs’. These were spaces that we called ‘break-out’ areas where spontaneous brainstorming could occur.
These spaces are conspicuously lined with astro turf on the floor with the walls painted with a green hue. The ceiling brought down a cluster of virtual clouds to make these spaces stand out as more relaxed and interactive areas.
The meeting rooms are themed with reference to William Grant & Sons’ well-known spirits, viz. the Balvenie room was the main conference room, the Hendrick’s room was a cozy discussion room and the Sailor Jerry room was another meeting room.
The interiors were developed with reference to these brands’ respective branding guidelines.
A continuous artificial planter box lined the entire stretch of the open workstations to bring a touch of nature into this contemporary office space.
Our design concept was inspired by the iconic status the Flyer represents. Situated at a strategic location at Raffles Avenue, the Singapore Flyer affords a panoramic view of the city scape.
At the center of the Flyer was a lush oasis of flourishing plants and greenery. The central green space provided for a visual feast as much as a relaxing and tranquil back drop for shoppers to stroll around the open walkway at its peripheral.
We saw this green space as a definitive green lung situated in the heart of the Singapore Flyer. Our concept would be to bring this natural setting to the interior spaces of the Guest Lounge and the Ticketing area at the entrance foyer.
GUEST SERVICE LOUNGE
The space was for the purpose of providing a comfortable and classy area for waiting guests. A feature green wall fronts the reception and provides the perfect sense of arrival.
As an exclusive lounge, our design sought to provide a warm and intimate setting for these guests. The selection of materials, flooring, lights and furniture would be based on a palette of rich natural stone, soothing lights and comfortable lounge furniture for the elite clientele.
TICKETING AREA AT ENTRANCE FOYER
The central ticketing arena was a destination that the public went to for tickets for the flyer and associated recreational services offered at the flyer. It would also house all administration and offices within the space.
We proposed a central iconic ticketing booth that straddled the existing structural columns. The ticketing booth was designed to reflect similar aspirations of blending with the green surrounds. The facade was tiered with staggering planter boxes that would allow plants to flourish.