For T Office, Right Angle Studio draws on the concept of a home office, illustrating a clean yet functional design for employees to enjoy.
18 April, 2022
It is well documented that over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of office workers have gotten used to the comforts of remote work. While it has some benefits, such as time saved on commute and flexibility for workers, there are also pitfalls such as stifled communication.
When Right Angle Studio was engaged to design a family office’s workplace, the client posed a particular challenge in response to this: to design an office that encourages staff to return to the office and resume a normal working pace similar to pre-pandemic times.
“After consulting with the staff, we decided on a design direction that will allow them to be engaged in a more casual environment to feel connected to the [office]. Beyond the apparent benefits of an aesthetically pleasing space, an office design that prioritises staff well-being is equally relevant in today’s world,” says Account Director Jay Liu, who co-founded the Singapore-based firm with his brother Alex Liu who is the firm’s Principal Designer.
A strong sense of tranquillity defines the space, beginning from the entrance. A descending timber trellis wall screens the work desks from the common corridor outside T Office, which sees ample public foot traffic. This feature also helps to create a pace of slow reveal for guests, and is a smart mode of concealing structural columns and the electrical distribution board.
Natural wood ash veneer is the main material employed to achieve a genteel, timeless and holistic palette. It is applied to all the joinery as well as the wall panelling that wraps around columns. The open-plan layout with a modest footprint of 2,000 square feet has meeting rooms, the pantry and the director’s room tucked to the edges, separated with glazing. To create a sense of engagement without sacrificing privacy, Alex introduced a custom-designed swivelling screen divider with a storage base.
The louvres found in Straits Chinese shophouses inspired the design, which sees rattan panels inserted within the panels – a nod to the business’ humble origins in Indonesia. “The material is useful to reduce visibility, provides each zone with a certain level of privacy and maintains an unobtrusive presence,” says Alex. Much thought has gone into the detailing of the screen, which has four panels to a module.
“The height of these screens was confined by the 90-centimetre space between the ceiling and the surface of the console. The width was then determined by the cabinet’s depth. However, this solution resulted in long, slim panels. A break was needed to give better proportion to the overall form. We inserted it at the upper end where the distance from the top is equivalent to its width, forming a perfect square while keeping the lower section long to accentuate its height,” he explains.
The furniture selection targeted long-term comfort and soft lines. There are Sayl office chairs from Herman Miller, environmentally friendly Falk chair and height-adjustable desks from Omnidesk™. The pantry sees a jolt of colour with olive-green Fritz Hansen Grand Prix chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen, while a Frank Gehry-designed Cloud pendant lamp from Belux mimics the curves in the rest of T Office. Filing cabinets in the main space with a wall panelling design and soft translucent curtains in the meeting rooms complete the overall sense of domestic calm.
Photography by Studio Periphery
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