Platform E - The Life Cells of An Ecosystem
Starting a business can be overwhelming. Being around people who are going through a similar experience and learning from people with proven entrepreneurial skills would be a great way to help a new business to get on the right track. That is exactly what Platform E offers — an entrepreneurship ecosystem, designed by Lim Ai Tiong (LATO) Architects/Design, which can provide the skills and tools that a start-up needs.
Whether your business is a solo or a small team project, having the right physical workspace to operate from is important for getting things done. Working in your pyjamas at home may sound like a good life but over time the casualness may lead to problems in getting yourself motivated. With rents for traditional office space in the Singapore CBD being so high, co-working spaces have become an appealing option for start-ups. And having others working around you, instead of having your comfortable bed or sofa right next to you, is conducive to staying focused on work.
A typical co-working space with open desks provides the perfect opportunity for networking, where new, productive collaborations can be created. On the other hand, it leaves almost zero chance for privacy, and people’s concentration can easily be distracted by the unavoidable noise from meetings, presentations or simply other people taking calls. Hence, Platform E provides working spaces with different levels of privacy. There is the typical open desk area, the small meeting tables in the lobby, discussion rooms, a boardroom and private suites. The rooms, though mostly glass-walled to create a sense of openness, are closed and carpeted for better sound absorption. In this way, both individuals and groups can be accommodated with a choice of working space.
Circular elements have been used extensively in the interior design of Platform E. They are a metaphor for organic cells, which are “the building blocks of life” in an ecosystem; in this case, an entrepreneurship ecosystem, which includes the entrepreneurs, the mentors and everyone or everything that supports the final objective. The glass-walled rooms, the tables and carpets in the lobby, the boardroom panel and the cove lighting are all circular. While the colourful graphics on the glass walls create a metabolic and energetic feel, the furniture and flooring throughout have been kept to neutral tones to maintain a professional feel.
The space was previously used for an entirely different purpose, so the project required a complete new layout. The access to the roof terrace is no longer hidden, giving occupants a good place to get some fresh air. Counters, entrances, columns and staircases were all modernized by recladding with white acrylics and accent lighting. With each element of design being well thought of, this office won the I-DEA Award 2017 for Best Workplace over 5,000 sqft. Every single element of design was made to support the convenience and needs of an entrepreneurship ecosystem.