SINGAPORE – The estate of Sungei Kadut in Singapore has become an unlikely mecca for the furniture industry. While ‘International Furniture Hub’ might initially suggest a barren expanse of uniform boxes and corrugated hangars, glaring just as begrudgingly under the sun by day as fluorescent tubes by night, one of the hub’s denizens has aspired to transcend the industrial mundane. DP Architects’ recently constructed headquarters for Sunray Woodcraft Construction integrates the disparate needs of its entire user base into one dynamic structure.
Volumes distinguishing these functions have been clad in aluminium louvres and juxtaposed to create linear and proportional tensions. The yellow exterior employs the corporation’s colour scheme to produce an abstraction of stacked timber. Horizontal louvres sheath the factory floor, emulating the motion of an assembly line while providing shade and ventilation. Workers’ dormitories and office space lie behind contrasting verticals that balance privacy from and view of the exterior. Deep recesses between the volumes form entrances and laterally admit natural light to lower floors.
Several concrete masses sit atop the timber at various places with full-length windows facing outward, presenting a formal and material sobriety to their bright, visored counterparts. Their unadorned and elevated frames maximize visibility of the showrooms and reception areas within to the passing trains and pedestrians nearby, at once advertising the product and humanizing the facility for the public.