London-based Minale + Mann is poised to become the latest addition to Singapore’s burgeoning design scene, writes Christie Lee.
17 September, 2014
Top image: Archway 69, London
Singapore has become quite the hub for design and architecture in the last several, with both local and international talents clamouring to capture a slice of the city’s creative pie. The latest firm poised to set up shop in the city-state is Minale + Mann. Headed by Sebastian Mann and Massimo Minale, the London-based firm is known for its cross-disciplinary approach, with services spanning architecture, interior and furniture design. “Born out of a desire to create beautiful architecture and interiors in a streamlined fashion, we decided to turn our back on traditional design methods and became the first architecture-design company in London to build projects,” Mann, one half of the duo behind such award-winning designs as Archway 69 and Feme in London explains. “[This] enables us to offer a complete design package, from the birth of an idea in our design, to the delivery of our project on site.”
London born and bred, Mann and Minale studied at the Bartlett School before going to cut their teeth at world-renowned firms including Woods Bagot and Foster & Partners. Which might explain why Minale + Mann has largely taken the sophisticated route to design – shunning trends for timeless and functional design with a lyrical touch. Dark wood is a staple, as is bespoke furnishing. “The UK is seeing a return to natural raw materials, placed against soft tones and neutral fabrics. Dark has become the ‘in hue’ for design in London. I would say that our work echoes some of this, but we do not sway in any one particular direction. Rather we acknowledge that is what the market is offering and allow it to run its course. Fashion disappears as fast as it arrives! Successful design steers its own ship, and stays at sea for a long time,” Mann notes.
Minale + Mann will next exercise their creative vision for a high-end residential project in St John’s Wood, London, where they will be “carving clean lines and running a ‘light touch’ industrial vibe throughout”. The design duo is also taking advantage of the space in the basement to work their craft, transforming it into a landscape garden.
For Mann, coming to Singapore is a strategic as well as personal decision. “On a personal level, I feel an affinity with Singapore. I have travelled there many times, and have a fondness for the people and the place, the food and smells. With the lush green tropical landscapes brushing up against the concrete physical structures, [the city] is a wonderful coming together of nature and architectural form.”
“The thirst for British design is growing in Asia, especially in Singapore and Hong Kong where there are historical ties with Britain. We want to respond to this thirst and offer design that is created in Britain,” Mann further emphasises.
Minale + Mann
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