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The Future of Hospitality in the Workplace

When asked to reimagine the corporate hospitality space in the office, some of Singapore’s most innovative designers of commercial interiors came up with some truly inspiring ideas.



BY Janice Seow

15 October, 2014


Top image: Vector Vector by Space Matrix

None can argue that the office as we know it is undergoing a profound transformation. And with companies going beyond cursory aesthetic changes to take a deeper, more holistic view of the work environment, Merx and Indesign Media recently approached some of Singapore’s leading designers of commercial interiors to dream up fresh new ideas for hospitality spaces at work.

The winners of the “Serving Hospitality in the Office” Design Competition were announced at Singapore Indesign on Saturday, 4 October, with 1st place going to Space Matrix for their entry “Vector Vector”.

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Vector Vector by Space Matrix

In this scenario, Vector Vector is an advertising agency that believes that the organisation’s driving force should come from the enjoyment of employees at work. The office is located in a rundown warehouse which has since has been revamped into a modern-industrial space with a hospitality setting and a variety of areas where staff can work in a diverse number of ways. Three cafeterias at different ends of the space service the surrounding work zones. There’s also a library and a general lounge area, all designed to impart a sense of comfort and relaxation, and included are a number of different activity-based work settings that differ from the typical commercial office. Also of note is central outdoor courtyard at the centre of the office, which includes areas designed for different meeting experiences.

Offering a unique dimension to the proposal, one can also ‘experience’ the space through the narrative of a Vector Vector employee as he goes about his day.

Of the winning entry, William Forwood, Managing Director of project management consultancy Merx says, “I found that the Space Matrix submission not only brought the theme of ‘Serving Hospitality in the Office’ into the proposal but also a great ‘live the moment’ description of a ‘day in the life of’ Mike from ‘Vector Vector’, from his arrival into the office to his journey through the cafe, board room, garden and beyond.”

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Merxz by Siren Design

The 2nd prize was awarded to Siren Design for their proposal of simulated environments within the workplace to create and offer quality experiences to both visitors and staff, while the 3rd prize went to M Moser Associates’ concept of a ‘work-cation’ or a hotel-inspired office complete with ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs and foot massage therapy along walkways leading to quiet rooms.

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Platinum Associates by M Moser Associates

Summing up the quality of the competition entries, Forwood says, “Overall the entries were fun, innovative, creative and genuinely interesting. Let’s hope we see some more resistance pools, day spas, gardens, golf driving ranges, gyms, food carts, stone walking paths and dining rooms in the office in the future.”

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Platinum Associates by M Moser Associates

1st Prize in the “Serving Hospitality in the Office” Design Competition is a return airfare and accommodation for one person from Singapore to Sydney for Sydney Indesign The Event 2015. The 2nd prize is a Herman Miller Mirra 2 office chair, and the 3rd prize is a one year’s subscription to an Indesign magazine of one’s choice (Cubes Indesign, Lookbox Living, Indesign, Habitus or DQ).

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