The office is situated on the ground floor of Chinatown Plaza: a strata-titled mixed-use development built in the mid-80s. An elevated glass sliding door frontage commands an endearing view, dotted with lush greenery, of the Craig Road shophouses.
Despite the small space of 32 square metres, the design approach was highly architectural: a single concrete table in the centre of a space expanded with multiple mirrors, and a new shopfront façade.
The unit came with a nondescript suspended grid ceiling whose modernist potential of infinite repetition was alluring. To highlight this beauty, the ceiling panels were removed, the grid retained, and mirrors strategically positioned to reflect the grid to infinity. This innovative treatment of the grid ceiling expanded the overhead space and created an environment that feels much bigger and open than a confined 4.5m wide room.
A contemporary response to the historical context, namely the fluorescent tubes in the grid ceiling, is the use of low energy T5 LED light tubes to create continuous lines of light stretching from one mirror wall to the other, which further emphasises the infinite grid.
This strategy of reflection is reinforced at the sitting eye level with two parallel bands of black-tinted mirrors placed behind racks displaying architectural models. The racks are movable, and thus reusable when the office expands and moves.
The band of mirrors unites at the shop front to form a horizontal slit within a 1m thick facade wall. The slit is strategically placed low to bring the attention of passers-by down to the crafted signage.
At the street front, a simple step ladder provides direct access from the covered walkway for friends and the occasional curious passer-by. Just a few months old, this small unit has proven to be a motivating and inspiring workplace; and an inviting and convivial social space.