Ambient vs Overt
Guocoland (Malaysia) Berhad is a leading property developer in Malaysia and part of the fast growing Guocoland Limited in Singapore. From its humble beginnings as a private limited company, they have since marked a significant milestone into becoming one of the core developers expanding beyond Asia.
As an indication of its imminent strength, the interior spaces needed to reflect the raw, industrial elements that form the foundation of every building. From the raw concrete blocks that symbolize the stepping stones into power, we chip away at the rough edges to present the final product dressed in the sleek finishes of a developer’s touch. The preliminary materials of any construction begin with timber, concrete and steel. In the reception area, solid blocks of timber form the partitions separating the waiting area from the conference rooms, while also functioning as flushed storage cabinets.
While timber represents progressive growth, we continued to emphasize that by creating a series of successive changes using a combination of both rough and smooth textures, subtly forming a gradient on its rich, warm reddish tones. By adding a thin layer of black metal, we formed a sleek frame around an otherwise solid block of wood, and further removed its rigidity by leaving a gap from the floor, keeping it seemingly afloat. In the middle of the waiting lounge, we kept the separation less impenetrable by arranging a lightbox of fabric membrane, the light within softly illuminating the space and highlighting the warm linen texture.
While concrete would have been too hard for the space, we kept it soft by using carpets that came in shades of grey, with bits of blue representing the corporate logo. Laid in diagonal patterns, the overall outcome made the space expansive, matched by long smooth strips of timber stretching across the ceiling.
Full height glass in steel frames showcased corporate exclusivity in neat, clean lines. The partially frosted glass blurred the lines between privacy and exposure, with only glimpses of the rooms seen through the gradient fonts of the room signage. From the reception, one passes through the pantry into the large open general workspace, long linear lights lined up in rows above separate departments. From here, the diagonal patterns are further enlarged to match the larger space of the area. Along the curved wall of the existing structure, manager rooms are neatly aligned in spacious glass divisions, overlooking the rest of the staff.
In the executive lobby, a sleek, black glass ceiling reflected the grandeur of Guocoland at the very top of its organization. In contrast to the glass ceiling, the main conference room is brightly lit by a large light membrane to aid its members during brainstorming sessions and presentations. The materials on this floor are kept neutral in comparison to the brighter colors used in the lower floor, as elegance is taken to newer heights. The usage of metal surfaces and figured veneers are more pronounced here, with the hardness of the metals softened with the light catching on the shimmering grey veneers.