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Redefining the industrial building typology

Through a series of key architectural gestures, Ministry of Design has redefined the typical industrial building typology to cater to the creative ‘black collar’ worker.

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BY Janice Seow

October 20th, 2015


Ministry of Design’s ethos of questioning pre-existing ideas and pushing the envelope in design comes to the fore yet again in this project for CEL Development in Singapore.

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100PP at Pasir Panjang is an 8-storey industrial building that’s designed to cater to creative studios that have, in recent years, been moving out of the central business district in waves and gravitating towards more affordable light industrial or warehouse districts with larger floor plates and higher ceilings.

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Starting with the opening question: “How can the generic industrial building typology be transformed to create a more distinctive building?” MOD has readily capitalised on the key traits to be found in these developments. At the same time, the studio has introduced a number of key architectural gestures that, as the firm’s Director of Design Colin Seah states, “aims to redefine the nature of such industrial buildings” and “capture the spirit of eccentricity and individuality of the prospective tenants” that 100PP is meant to attract.

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To begin, MOD has introduced a series of ‘stepped’ balconies across the different floor levels. This not only makes reference to the sea-fronting context of the site, but also makes the building appear to be shifting away from the busy elevated highway fronting the site.

To further this sense of movement, the designers have also shifted the building laterally, resulting in a dynamic form that stands in contrast to the generic industrial blocks nearby.

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The definition of windows, balconies and air-condition ledges have been intentionally blurred by layering a series of horizontal stripes throughout the façade. Not only does this design generate visual movement horizontally across the building, but it also emphasises the shifting and stacked nature of the different volumes.

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In addition, MOD has applied a palette of varying greys to the façade to create the required tonal effect for the horizontal branding of the building. The same horizontal striping is also consistently applied to both the landscape and hardscape elements within the project.

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With the creative worker in mind, the interior embraces a stylised industrial aesthetic through the design of its signage, and its bold material choices such as finished concrete in common spaces and customised textured paint for the fractal walls in the lobby. The latter also features lighting inspired by the simplicity of the bare florescent tube.

For creative studios seeking an alternative to a run of the mill industrial workspace, 100PP will no doubt be that refreshing change.

The project has just been shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s World Architecture Festival awards (see more shortlisted projects here).

MOD
modonline.com