Shaping CBD Futures II: Final Review

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by Lynus Lim and Nicholas Lim

The office is not simply a building, it is an urban complex that cannot work in isolation from the city, on the contrary, it must be part of it and give the city new spaces for collective enjoyment.

The Gensler Workplace Survey 2020 found that workers still want to return to the workplace but expect flexibility in the form of a more open work environment with access to private spaces when needed. We concluded that the office space cannot be considered obsolete as it offers productivity to many. What is needed is the injection of a flexible model within the office typology to meet the changing demands and desires of the workforce. The project is thus centered on reinventing a traditional mixed used office tower that is public-centric through the introduction of new programmatic spaces.

The global pandemic has disrupted the corporate hierarchy causing work to change forever. As people desire new experiences, the way we work, live and play requires our working landscape to remain fluid. An increasing number of multinational companies are starting to use coworking spaces or shared office space. In today’s fast paced world, companies are leveraging agile workplaces that integrate flexible, short-term and long-term lease options to effectively anticipate organizational needs, and for powerful technology that includes suitable collaboration tools to enable productivity in the workplace. We thus propose an office for a new independent workforce that has been empowered by digital tools.

We then did a site analysis to understand the conditions in which the project needed to respond to.

Heat map of exercise routes in the vicinity

Green spaces show that exercise is concentrated closer to green spaces

Significant number of private fitness center

Private-public access shows the predominantly private nature of the CBD

The project proposes fitness as a second typology within the office tower. The need for a truly public space for fitness or leisure, amidst the very private CBD, became the motivator of our project.

Grid As A Customized Unit

Based on the user-orientated environment, a flexible structure is needed for personalized customization. The grid provides a free choice of lattice space. The modules from the Maison Domino stem from a 4x4m grid. Several modules composed together are treated as a cluster. These clusters can be freely connected to each other, and they are in a state of free distribution on site. Customized points provide more possibilities for multiple choices, while different combination of clusters enhance the publicity and diversity of the building.

Using the modules from our Maison Dom-ino, we aggregated 5 clusters within a bounding box of 16x16x12m. These clusters can be divided into 3 broad categories: work space, public space, and commercial space.

Flexible Office

Using Wasp to aggregate the clusters, we chose them based on the spatial qualities as well as potential for texturing of the building. The voids, verticality, and horizontality were greatly scrutinized to filter out the five aggregations. (View more images on the original source 1)

The structural elements, especially the aggregation of columns and their varying thickness was something we wanted to highlight. The columns and beams help dictate the space and also framed views both outwards and inwards of the tower. The idea of visual connection drove how the subsequent massing and aggregation logic was executed. We first did an isovist analysis, first on the general 360 views around the site, and then a specific directional isovist analysis to determine the ratio of inward:outward views at different positions in the tower.

General Isovist Analysis

Directional Isovist Analysis

Podium Concept Diagram

After the massing was developed, we voxelized it to understand the concentration of cluster packing. The massing is divided into 3 distinct parts, wach with a different concentration of various programmes, which will be aggregated. Lastly, voids were created to ensure light in potentially dense iterations. (View more images on the original source 1)

The ratio of each cluster aggregated in each segment of the office building is stated below. In general, the two towers would house all the office spaces, leaving the bridge occupied with only public and commercial spaces. The office spaces were then divided into the two towers. Given the compact nature of the short tower from the massing, we significantly increased the presence of porous spaces using the two porous clusters (flexible office and public shared space) to ensure a minimum visual porosity and light penetration.

  • Bridge
  • Short Tower
  • Tall Tower

Through Wasp, the iterations generated were then assessed for spatial diversity, programmatic adjacency, and overall aesthetics of the building.

Massing Slices

(View more images on the original source 1)

Short Tower Iteration 4

Bridge Iteration 1

Tall Tower Iteration 4

Final Design

Final Design

Final Design

Final Design

Final Design

Final Design

Facade Types

Systems Axo

Massing Slices