This is the story of a wonderful collaboration between designer and client. It starts with The Little Red Ants, a studio that creates videos for a multitude of clients and that was in need for a work space that they could call a second home. They decided to work with PRODUCE, a design office with prototyping capabilities that allows their clients to visualize designs before being built and to test and make proposals at a 1:1 scale based on the prototypes.
The new Little Red Ants office in Singapore occupies an area of 170 square feet and was completed in 2015. Since the studio is usually working 24-7, this office had to be like a second home. It needed to offer the employees a place to work, sleep, eat and play.
One of the main requests was for a space that promotes communication. All projects require multiple persons in different stages of its completion and they have to be able to easily interact and exchange ideas. Each employee has their own little work space and they’re all interlinked by a giant piece of furniture. This design strategy allows them all to work cohesively as a single body just like ants.
The open plan office only has one piece of furniture. It is, however, a very large and complex one. It’s a continuous structure that integrates eight desks and a variety of other functions. The work space and the visitor’s area are casually demarcated by this structure which was meant to mirror the way everyone works in this place.
In addition to integrating the desks, the continuous structure also serves as an organizational feature. It conceals all the storage and all the functions. The work station’s table top bends up and becomes a climbable platform over the editing suite, the bathroom, the server room and the meeting space. It then bends back down and regains its initial function.
As you can imagine, fabricating this central feature was the biggest challenge for the project. In order to make it possible, the designers took advantage of their prototyping capabilities which allowed them to test out possible solutions and to adapt the design until it became perfect.
The sinuous form of the whole structure was created using curves supporting ribs and a table top cut with a CNC machine. The finishing maple veneer was scored with regular shallow cuts and this allowed it to bend over for a smooth look.
This unique single piece of furniture that loops around the office was digitally fabricated and was designed to be multifunctional. A nice detail is that it conceals all the cables, leaving the work spaces clean and free of clutter.
Lighting fixtures were used to demarcate certain spaces. The area used by writers and editors and alternating warm and cold lights with dimmers. This allows the users to feel comfortable at all times. The meeting room has a retractable table and can be opened up, becoming a part of the work area. Similarly, the editing and rendering suite can either be opened or closed off, depending on the case.