The dynamic mix of cultural infusion and modern materials in this office sets the ideal stage for high interactivity and lively collaborative work.
At first impression, Sea’s newly expanded headquarter is a contemporary workspace with a polished and refined aesthetic. However, a closer look would reveal intriguing details that blend artistic and cultural nuances with modern features to establish an expressive design language that is unique to Sea yet cohesive with Sea’s primary corporate identity.
Space optimisation was vital to ensure a comfortable and smooth flow of movement from one place to another, leading to an effective open floor plan that houses several work areas. According to the PAND Design Group’s design team, materials and functional details derived from a cultural point of view play a distinctive part in pulling various features together.
“We wanted the office to clearly distinguish itself as a Sea estate in Singapore. Thus, we implemented a central concept that visually integrates traditional aspects of Singapore while transforming certain design elements to establish the look and feel,” the design team elaborates.
The approach began with a subtle palette comprising wood surfaces and neutral tones enhanced with biophilic accents to bring in a “garden city” theme that Singapore is known for. Motif-heavy accents conveying heritage inspiration and wealth-oriented ideologies were also applied strategically in specific places.
From the entrance, the foyer is anchored by a large wall with Sea’s logo. Behind the wall is a mixed-use lounge area for visitors, which doubles up as a co-working space. As it is essentially a social space, a grey palette with wood veneer furnishing and flooring was used to keep the space cosy and luxurious. The curved lines for both the ceiling and floor mirror each other to demarcate the space without the use of walls. Sofa sets, a long desk, and discussion pods complemented by a small pantry complete the space.
Next to it, a second co-working area serves as a transitional space before the internal work zones. Once again, the curvilinear ceiling and corresponding floor patterns visually separate the area, while a custom-made shelving unit and two phone booths on the side provide a sense of privacy without enclosing the entire space. The main highlight would be the decorative wall resembling a life-sized abacus. Tucked between two lush green walls, this eye-catching piece is one of the symbolic wealth elements in the office to reflect Sea’s core business.
More iconic accents were creatively implemented in the cafe. Light tones and soft textures from the furniture pieces balance out the ceiling panel designed with circular motifs that look like gold coins. Across the room, bulky columns were wrapped in wood louvres and topped off with foliage to look like trees, incorporating a feeling of nature into the space. Meanwhile, the two private dining rooms feature Peranakan aspects to inject a hint of local flavour.
“We gave the private dining rooms a more vivid interpretation of Singapore culture using a collage of Peranakan motifs on the feature walls. We also opted for a huge slab of natural suarwood for the tabletop, matched with robust wooden seating to maintain a traditional feel,” say the designers.
The exposed ceiling is also a predominant element throughout the office to keep the atmosphere spacious and open. The services were painted in a deep blue tone to ensure the ductwork, pipes, and wires don’t clutter the clean and minimal appearance. In addition, they were partially concealed with sail-like membranes, which set off a nautical feel, tying the detail back to the SEA brand.
“It was not easy to get the integration of the stretch membrane right as the material is extremely sensitive to tensile and shearing. As such, we had to constantly experiment with tweaking different mounting point heights to achieve the desired results. It was a very artisanal job, and I have nothing but praise for the team who were conscientious in making it work,” the design team shares.
Design Studio: PAND Design Group
Photo Credit: PAND Design Group