WeWork Singapore's first branch has a 'shophouse' theme, and it's frigging awesome

WeWork Singapore's first branch has a 'shophouse' theme, and it's frigging awesome

e27.co·2017-12-16 19:25

WeWork has finally launched its co-working space in Singapore, occupying three floors of a complex situated along Beach Road.

And while on the outside it is covered with a slick, modern, all-glass exterior; step inside and you will find aesthetics that harken back to the area’s traditional roots: shophouses.

This is because the company employs an in-house design and development team of 500 specialists. These include architects, interior designers, product designers, graphic designers, as well as other experts integral to the development of each WeWork space.

With each new WeWork space, the team takes into consideration the place’s cultural roots and characteristics, and weave those elements into the design decisions of every part of the space. In this way, each branch is not only unique but they will also fit right at home in their neighbourhood.

“We place a huge emphasis on becoming a part of the local community. Before a building is even selected, our design and research teams get to work. We visit the site, get to know the area, and neighbourhood,” said Turochas “T” Fuad, Managing Director, WeWork Southeast Asia, in an email exchange with e27.

“What they learn about the building, history of the area, the community and neighbourhood can translate into design elements (i.e. wallpapers, custom artwork, furniture) specific to that location.”

The “shophouse” theme

To accurately replicate the design aesthetics of traditional shophouses, the WeWork team went about fastidiously studying every aspect of them.

“WeWork Beach Centre is based on the ideals of fresh air and mobility, two aspects that are brought to life through the spaces’ ample natural light and various open-air meeting places. Pastel colours similar to the neighbourhood’s surrounding buildings are used to give the space an airy and light feeling,” said Fuad.

“We’ve taken inspiration from the traditional shophouse you can find in Singapore: the rhythm of the different facades with its different types of windows, arched window frames, window shutters painted with different colours.”

“We bring all these elements into the space: arched elements referencing those windows, tiled walls framing different areas, using pastels colours like the ones you can find just next door over the window shutters, giving the space an airy and light feeling.”

“Our central core of the space – a yellow staircase – that connects the three floors acts as a background of the lounges. This staircase has a feature wall made out of concrete breeze blocks that goes throughout all the floors and reminds you the ones you can find at the back of a traditional Singaporean house, It’s a reinterpretation of the traditional elements that we wanted to include in the space.”

“For ground floor lounge, being the only lounge placed in the middle in the layout, the sunlight is filtered by privacy vinyls along the private offices. Due to a higher ceiling in this area we have a series or semi-dome pendant lamps that cover the entire ground floor lounge.”

Currently, WeWork houses many renowned Asia-based startups, including Chope, PolicyPal, StashAway and Wantedly. Its members have an app that allows them to connect to WeWork’s global community of over 175,000 members.

The co-working space also invites companies and experts to run workshops, and organises informal events that help members interact, gain new contacts, and just relax.

“We have ‘TGIM’ (Thank God It’s Monday) where we prepare breakfast to fuel our members for the start of the week. [And] with our events spanning across different experiences, they also range from ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ to ‘Greetup’, where enterprises share their insights,” he says.

Check out more pictures of WeWork Beach Centre below:

Just look at those lovely yellow tiles. Don’t they remind you of coffee shops?

A more comfortable way to work; especially after hours of sitting on a swivel chair.

This is where members can work (more) quietly and read a book without disturbance.

The most important area of any co-working space: the pantry.

A cosy meeting room for those heart-to-heart talks.

A lounge area to chill out and decompress.

A ‘secret” meeting room concealed by mirrors (they are not the two-way kind, though).

Long, narrow corridors with offices along them.

There is nothing more Singaporean than the phrase “can lah”.

A dedicated room for workshops and seminars.

Are you ready to check in and transform the way you work?

Image Credit: WeWork

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