Latitude/Longitude: 1.29971, 103.851
Singapore-based architectural practice WOHA has created a world-class retail environment for the new Space store in Singapore. Aptly named the Space Asia Hub, this impressive 3,800-square-metre, immersive retail space situated in the arts district at Bencoolen Street was launched with a 1,300-guest opening party last weekend.
An initiative of high-end Australian furniture retailer Space, the Space Asia Hub brings together retail concepts from some of the world’s top furniture designers, among them B&B Italia/Maxalto, Carl Hansen & Son, Cassina, Dirade, Emeco, Flexform, Flexform Mood, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Giorgetti, Kartell, Moooi, Poliform, Varenna by Poliform and Vitra.
Space’s Katie Page and Gerry Harvey had been looking to make Singapore the Asian hub for Space, and were keen to find an appropriate setting. The area on which the Space Asia Hub now sits originally contained three houses. The “bookending” houses – the heritage-listed Villa and Heritage House – remain, while the central space is now occupied by WOHA’s four-storey, contemporary glass box, which expands upwards and outwards towards the back of the site.
Together with Page and Harvey, WOHA has achieved a sympathetic regeneration of the site, with the realized design deviating very little from its early plans.
A feature of the foyer is the “batik”-style floor that uses different materials arranged in a geometric pattern, giving a flavour of the east in the very modern area, and bringing the outside in. At night, the structure is illuminated by lighting by Moooi.
In the Heritage House, natural light streams in through timber rafters, and second-floor lofts afford bird’s eye views of the space. B&B Italia/Maxalto’s soothing courtyard features an indoor, three-storey high vertical garden wall, a design element that has become a signature part of WOHA’s work in Asia.
The Villa features a signature WOHA spiral staircase, and a stunning, sun-drenched dining room presided over by a Louis Poulsen Artichoke light featuring 24-carat gold-plated leaves. Only fifty of the lights have been produced.
While each of the brands represented at Space Asia Hub enlisted designers to achieve their individual brand identities within the space, this was done in consultation with Katie Page and WOHA. The result is spaces of continuity and seamlessness.
Furniture displays are complete entities, giving Space’s affluent Asian clients the opportunity to see how products work together in the domestic setting. Alternatively, clients can pick and choose products from different brands. The idea is to gain both a deeper understanding of each brand and how its products can be used to design a lifestyle.
The Space Asia Hub represents a milestone for the brand, and is a clear indication of its knowledge of its market. Here, Space meets its Asian clientele on their own turf, in a setting that will make perfect sense to them.
⇒ Architecture Guide to SINGAPORE