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.
CLIENT: Cairnhill Law
PROGRAM: Interior Refurbishment (Office)
INTERIOR DESIGN: Studio SKLIM
BRANDING: Studio SKLIM
TEAM: Kevin Lim
Zaw Lin Htoo (Branding & Website)
CONSULTANTS: Bewilder (Botanical Design)
Wall Studio (Texture Stucco)
MAIN PHOTOGRAPHY: Khoo Guo Jie
TIME PERIOD: 10/18 to 01/19
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.
Studio SKLIM is an international design agency crafting bespoke spatial solutions.
The studio believes that design opportunities are inherent, waiting to be unleashed or given a new perspective. The organisation of “raw materials” not limited to the form of environmental data, typographical conditions, cultural peculiarities and technological limits form a new ground from which their design process initiates these extractions. The fast changing contemporary environment demands a rethink and reorganisation of existing spatial parameters, therefore making conceptual clarity and contemporary investigative research instrumental to the design process of their studio. Studio SKLIM’s design ethos feeds on these rigors.
From banality breeds creativity and each of their project stems from their own unique set of pragmatics and constraints. Studio SKLIM believes that the most basic of design solutions are intrinsically able to conjure the most complex relationships with the environment.
The studio embarks on design journeys with their consultants and clients, as a collective experience to explore market demands, environment sustainability, design technology and socio-cultural landscapes with the hope of creating built environments that resonate with their shared positions.
Studio SKLIM has exhibited at The Design Exchange (Canada’s Design Museum) in Toronto, The Centre for Architecture (American Institute of Architects) in New York and the Urban Redevelopment Authority Centre in Singapore. The studio has received multiple design awards for their work.
Studio SKLIM is currently working on projects in the Asia Pacific region which includes high-end residential/office/F&B interiors in Singapore, bamboo pavilions in Bangkok, Thailand and an International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Kolkata, India.
Born in Singapore, Kevin Lim is the founding principal of Studio SKLIM. Kevin Lim graduated with the AA Diploma from the Architectural Association in London after his studies at the National University of Singapore. His formative years were chiselled by one of Singapore’s pioneer architects, Mr William Lim. He has worked extensively in London, Singapore and Beijing with various international practices including the Dutch architectural practice, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). His past experiences in the Asia Pacific region include high-rise luxury residences, mixed-use developments and office buildings.
Kevin Lim was selected as one of the Key Designers of Heineken’s Open Design Explorations 2 for a Future Lounge showcased at London Design Week. He has spoken at several events including “Common Ground: Home grown Designers” at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Centre, Singapore. He has recently given a keynote address at Design Dialogues 19 organised by the Indian Institute of Architects, Palakkad Sub-centre in Palakkad, India.