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.
Architecture + Landscape + Interior + Graphic + Strategy
12,600 sqm | Singapore | Built 2014
How can the generic office building typology be transformed to create a more distinctive building?
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.
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.
CHALLENGES WE FACED
1. FAÇADE WALL COMPOSITION
The exterior wall enclosure for each level is at a 6m height, which means thick vertical stiffeners are required. However, the original design for the stiffeners had a protruding profile that clashed with the horizontal band aesthetic of the façade. To keep the vertical stiffeners thin and flushed to the façade wall, a composite wall was designed, aiming to get the lightest weight for a thinner structural stiffener.
The result was a composite wall made up of lightweight hollow concrete panels for the top and bottom wall portions, and a steel framed calcium silicate board wall for the middle portion in between the 2 ribbon windows. Several layers of painted calcium silicate boards were also added at the exterior façade to further blur the different wall elements, in keeping with the desire to unify the façade, generate horizontal visual movement and emphasize the shifting-and-stacking nature of the different volumes.
2. AC CONDENSERS UNITS AT FAÇADE
It is common for industrial office buildings to install split-type Air-Conditioning systems, such that each tenant would be able to maintain and manage their own air conditioning systems. This results in unsightly air-conditioning ledges on the façade of the building, or worse, air-conditioning units plainly exposed on the facade. We wanted to take a different approach by intentionally celebrating the ledges yet masking their utilitarian nature.
A technique of deep section aluminum louvers was developed to block views of the air-conditioning condenser unit ledges at specific angles. Although each band of aluminum louvers has the same 1m thickness for each level, we deliberately varied the number of grey colour tones, and distribution of each colour, to intentionally break the repetition, and blur the visual thickness of each AC ledge. This was integral to unifying the façade, and banding together the various façade elements to emphasize the shifting-and-stacking nature of the building.
ATTRIBUTES OF A SUSTAINABLE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
There are several elements that showcase 100PP’s attributes of a sustainable built environment:
Firstly, the building’s external envelope and the slabs used composite wall of precast lightweight hollow concrete panels and steel-framed calcium silicate boards, which enabled faster construction, as it requires less manual labour. The materials used are certified by Green Label Singapore as eco-friendly. Also, the low window-to-wall ratio means that the building’s external envelope would absorb heat at a slower pace and at a lower volume.
Secondly, the window sizes and glass ETTV properties are carefully matched to optimize the building’s thermal performance. Smaller distributed glass openings and darker glass tint results in less heat and solar radiation getting through the building. This contributes to an overall reduction of interior air-conditioning required.
Thirdly, the building is relatively energy-efficient as a fraction of the windows are specified to be operable and these are distributed in 2 band levels for each office space. This offers tenants the option of passive cooling and reduces the reliance on air-conditioning. Also, the orientation and number of windows ensure sufficient daylight for working purposes (each office space has 2 bands of ribbon windows), reducing the need for lights to be turned on in the daytime.
This project has been named Finalist at the World Architectural Festival 2015’s Architectural Awards, under the Commercial Category.
Architectural & Interior Ministry of Design: Design
Design Colin Seah, David Tan, Jeremiah Abueva,
Zsombor Baktay, Don Castaneda,
Charissa Ho, Norberto Olegario,
Ruth Chong, Arnel Anoneuvo
Client CEL Development Pte Ltd | Ivan Lim, General
Submissions Architect AC Consortium Pte Ltd
Contractor CES Building and Construction Pte Ltd
C&S Engineers Partnership LLP
M&E HPX Consulting Engineers
Quantity Surveyor Davis Langdon & Seah
Street Address 100 Pasir Panjang Road
Land Area 5035 sqm
Built in GFA 12,600 sqm
No. of Storeys 8 Floors
Facilities 5-meter high industrial office spaces, Basement car
parking, Roof level terrace
Development website www.100pp.com.sg
Construction duration 24 months
Opening July 2014
Press Contact Joy Chan Seah
General e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT COLIN SEAH
Architecturally trained in the US & licensed in Singapore, Colin Seah honed his sensibilities working for the likes of Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind. He also spent 4 years at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture researching design pedagogy and serving as design critic.
As MOD’s Founder & Director of Design, Colin has been named Designer of the Year by International Design Awards USA 2010, and is a two-time recipient of Singapore’s highest design accolade, the President’s Design Award. He is also a two-time Grand Prize Winner of the Gold Key Award, the highest international hospitality accolade, named Hong Kong Perspective’s ’40 under 40 architects’ and Marcus Corporation Foundation Prize 2007 ‘emerging architect with potential for greatness’. Recognized as ”Rising Star in Architecture” by Monocle, Colin Seah has been invited by the Singapore Tourism Board to redefine Singapore as a destination for 2020 and beyond.
ABOUT MINISTRY OF DESIGN
Question, Disturb, Redefine
Ministry of Design was created by Colin Seah to question convention and redefine the spaces, forms and experiences that surround us and give meaning to our world.
MOD’s explorations are created amidst a democratic studio-like’ atmosphere and progress seamlessly between form, site, object and space. At MOD, we provide our clients services that transcend mere design skill sets or technical prowess. We prefer to start far upstream and instead of merely designing solutions, we design holistic experiences. The resultant design thinking then translates into a wide variety of possible downstream design applications and media: be it architecture, product design, interior architecture, branding, graphics, landscape or even the weaving of diverse disciplines into a single project.
We love to question where the inherent potential in contemporary design lies, and then to disturb the ways they are created or perceived – redefining the world around us in relevant and innovative ways, project by project. This, we declare, is real change, not change for the sake of novelty. Fortified with these aspirations,
we begin each distinct project anew by seeking to do 2 things – to draw deeply from the context surrounding each project, but also to dream freely so that we might transcend mere reality and convention. Each MOD project endeavours to be delightfully surprising but yet relevant, distinctly local but still globally appealing.
Headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, MOD was declared a “Rising Star of Architecture” by the Monocle Singapore Survey 2010 and “Designer of the Year” by the International Design Awards, USA 2010. Our recent portfolio includes Vanke Qingdao Plaza, Ascendas Guangzhou Knowledge City, award-winning Vanke Triple V Gallery & UOL Edge Gallery (World Architecture Festival 2012), Tangs Flagship Store and Macalister Mansion hotel (Best Luxury Hotel at Gold Key NYC 2013).
Earlier works include the Barcode Office (Best Office in WAF Barcelona 2011), BBH Office (President’s Design Award 2008), Zig Zag House, Sho-U Restaurant (Gold Key Award Grand Prize 2007), Leo Burnett Office (Interior Design of the Year 2010, USA), SOHO China Sanlitun condominium, The Mark Business Park, New Majestic Hotel (President’s Design Award 2006) & The Saporiti Italia Luxury Tower (Grand Prize & exhibited at Salone de Mobile Milan 2010).
Strategy | Masterplan | Architecture | Landscape | Interior | Product | Graphic
MATERIAL DETAILS – ARCHITECTURE
Roof Precast hollow core slab Associated Concrete Products
|Granite in flamed finish||Builtech Enterprise Pte Ltd|
External Wall Precast hollow core Jan Fcade Technilogy Pte
concrete Panels Ltd
|Insulated calcium silicate
board panels on RHS
|Jan Fcade Technilogy Pte Ltd|
Windows Powder-coated aluminum Jan Fcade Technilogy Pte Ltd
MATERIAL DETAILS – INTERIORS
Ceilings Equitone water-resistant Yang Lin Construction
Fiber cement boards Pte Ltd
|Painted plasterboard||Kiong Gay Plastercell Design Pte Ltd|
Internal Walls Hollow core concrete Welmate
panels w/ skimcoat and paint Paint 101 Pte Ltd
Equitone water-resistant Futar Enterprise Pte Ltd
Fiber cement boards Yang Lin Construction
Custom decorative paint finish Pte Ltd
Homogeneous tile finish
Floor Finishes Concrete flooring with Chip Eng Seng Corp Ltd
power float finish Builtech Enterprise Pte Ltd
Granite in honed and Futar Enterprise Pte Ltd
MATERIAL DETAILS – LANDSCAPE
Ground & Roof Softscape Greenscape Pte Ltd