Co-working operator, Distrii, seeks to reinvent global workspaces and create collaborative environments by converging internet technology with commercial real estate to form the Internet of Things, thus providing benefits of online collaboration tools and offline premium spaces for the future ready office.
Joining forces with real estate developer City Developments (CDL), China-based Distrii successfully unveiled the single largest and tech-driven co-working facility in May 2018, located at Republic Plaza, Raffles Place, Singapore. Occupying more than 62,000 square feet across six floors, the facility provides amenities including more than 900 work stations, private workspaces and customizable team spaces, a 200-pax capacity multi-purpose hall and a food & beverage outlet.
DB&B had the privilege to have been selected to work with Distrii to design the bespoke space. As this is Distrii’s first foray out of their base in China, the facility had to undergo thorough design thinking process right from the onset. One of the key objectives of this project was to effectively integrate Distrii’s proprietary enterprise collaboration and productivity tools to space. This included a mobile application that is backed by a cloud-based system and Internet of Things (IoT) Technology, focusing on office tools and social circles. The application provides access and booking of meeting rooms, as well as supporting video conferencing and internal administration management.
For a start, the design team had to familiarize with the fundamental needs required to set-up a co-working space. Diversifying from the usual office set-up, Distrii aims to operate in a more organic fashion by having both private and social spaces. With the intention to accommodate different work needs and styles, there is a balanced provision of private and customised spaces as well as flexible, hot-desking work settings. Private office spaces, complete with its own bespoke managerial rooms and exclusive meeting room installed with Distrii’s proprietary video & voice conferencing tool, are suited to start-ups and small businesses. To maximize privacy, these rooms are situated at the back-of-house, equipped with advanced room booking systems. The design team had to rely on their rich experiences in designing global workspaces to value add to this new concept, for example, strategic space planning to maximize real estate efficiency.
Balancing Private and Social Spaces
In line with Distrii’s vision of building a strong collaborative community, communal and get-together spaces are of priority. At the heart of this multi-level facility is a grand staircase that provides the backbone to connectivity. The staircase is flanked by a variety of huddle spaces and married with plenty of greenery in line with sustainability efforts. The furniture for these spaces underwent a meticulous selection process to offer a ‘homey’ feeling coupled with ambient lighting. The environment evokes a natural and comfortable feeling for users.
The amenities such as common pantries, coffee points, lockers are available to lend support to Distrii’s tenants to run their business operations smoothly. Embodying natural design elements such as greenery, natural landscapes, wood and natural light, space evokes a uniquely Singapore design theme. With experiences of nature in a modern workspace, the Distrii space strikes the right balance between private and social spaces.
The overarching design concept for the Distrii space involves considerable use of the wood-inspired material, one that is commonly opted to elevate the hospitality look and feel. This material is also commonly applied to high traffic spaces as it is more durable and offers ease of maintenance.
At the community spaces, the clever interplay of the wooden trellis and chevron-shaped flooring pattern, with dark turquoise boiserie panelling features a subtle warm elegance, offering a warm, comfortable setting for users.
As part of the branding efforts, the design team also applied logo-inspired decals as door labels that add on the graphical appeal of the space.
Project: Distrii Technology Development, Singapore
Design Studio: DB&B
Photo Credit: DB&B