Singapore-based design studio Asylum designs a co-working environment suited for innovators from all industries. Olha Romaniuk writes.
Co-working has become a preferred way of working for many companies and start-ups, thanks to its offering of workplace flexibility and networking opportunities. With the recent spurt of co-working hubs all around Singapore and Hong Kong, businesses looking to base their workspace in Asia are in no shortage of options.
Collision 8 is one of the latest co-working spaces to open in Singapore, and is the brainchild of Michelle Yong, head of Aurum Land, the property development arm of construction conglomerate Woh Hup, and John Tan, serial entrepreneur and partner at two micro venture capital funds. With this project, Yong and Tan have envisioned a cross-industry collaborative environment supported by a community building programme to facilitate collisions fundamental to the growth of innovative businesses.
For Yong and Tan, the biggest distinction between Collision 8 and other co-working spaces is the focus on the community and the notion of ‘collisions’, beyond just the space. Says Yong, “By engineering serendipity through member curation and monthly personalised introductions by our dedicated community manager, we are uniquely placed to foster high value connections between our members, something that typical co-working spaces do not offer.”
With a determination to cultivate a communal spirit within Collision 8, Yong and Tan enlisted Singapore-based creative design agency Asylum to materialise the main objective of creating an aspirational and sophisticated, yet playful and energetic workspace, through spatial planning and interior design. As the co-founders’ design brief called for a series of spaces that exuded exclusivity, yet allowed for opportunities for members to mingle, gather and exchange ideas, Asylum aimed to provide a range of public and private areas that invited different modes of interaction.
The Asylum team paid particular attention to the public spaces, from the warmly lit library lined with glass cabinets displaying a personal collection of spirits, to the adjacent bar and lounge area, all set against a panoramic backdrop of the Marina Bay Sands, Boat Quay and Fort Canning Park. “We wanted the ‘heart’ of the space to be highly energetic, a space where members could mingle, gather and exchange ideas,” says Cara Ang, design director of Asylum. “What better way to have a nice conversation than over a cup of coffee or a good whisky? Elements such as a library lounge, a bar and a reception area, designed with the intention to heighten the exclusive atmosphere of Collision 8, fell into place, setting the ideal backdrop for social interaction.”
To accommodate a variety of working styles for the tenants, the Asylum team planned for an assortment of work settings, ranging from private offices to hot desks, breakout spaces and meeting rooms. Depending on the nature of the working environment (private, semi-private, highly collaborative), the team varied the design aesthetic from more traditional within private offices to more playful in the meeting areas. Within the breakout spaces, the Asylum team created a lively atmosphere facilitated by the use of bold textures and elements that reinforced the vibrant brand identity. Elsewhere, the team mixed fun and sophisticated elements, functional details and unexpected design features to spark the imagination of Collision 8’s tenants.
“We believe that in the right environment, collisions happen naturally. Nonetheless, we have filled the space with quirky surprises intended to spark curiosity, creativity and conversations at every turn, including fighting fish in the toilets, a mini urban aquaponics farm in the gallery area and a hall of fame, among others,” says Yong.
Having officially opened its doors on 1 August, Collision 8 aims to accommodate approximately 175 people within its 8,600-square-foot space. It already has 450 individuals as part of its growing community, and the goal to grow the membership into the thousands.
“We’ve created a space specific to the business needs of innovative, collaborative companies and individuals looking to take their business to the next level,” concludes Yong. “We believe that innovation will disrupt every industry and is key to building the next generation of successful businesses.”