Downsizing an office space can have a very positive spin-off, especially when a firm maximises the opportunity to reinvent the workplace.
When Warner Music in Singapore moved to new, smaller premises, the company saw it as an opportunity to create a whole new vibe that would be relevant to the future of the industry.
Designer Christopher Kwek of Forward 50, the company commissioned to design the premises, says Warner Music requested a space that would emphasise the hip, creative nature of the business.
"The office design also needed to reflect the collaborative culture of the workplace, which has a flat corporate structure," Kwek says. "And it needed to be a lively, friendly and comfortable work environment, with plenty of youthful exuberance.
"After an extensive dialogue with the firm, it was decided that since music is always changing and innovating, the design should avoid cliched music motifs and symbols. Instead, we put the focus on tactile materials Warner Music wanted its new office to feel more like a warehouse than a conventional office."
Kwek says another key challenge was to incorporate this design brief into a significantly smaller space of 171m², compared to the 371m² of the previous office. Opting for a free-flowing, open-plan space was a way to meet both objectives it maximises the space and provides a collaborative, non-hierarchical workplace.
To enhance the sense of a warehouse space, the palette of materials includes cement-rendered floors and walls, brick walls, recycled railway sleepers, steel, glass and stone. The railway sleepers form a bold, textural wall at the entry, with a large cut-out providing a glimpse into the colourful world of the office beyond.