Digital Planning Lab

Merit, Workplace Category | BCI Asia Interior Design Awards 2018

The Digital Planning Lab office was set up in 2013 with the vision of using digital tools and big data to enhance city planning. The interior design takes on the challenge of creating a ‘high-tech interactive green office’ ambience for both staff and visitors alike.

This involved the selection and combination of materials, plants and lighting to create an office environment that reflects the high-tech culture of the department, yet with softened edges and warm tones for a balanced working environment.

The 750-square-metre office is organised into a spectrum of public active zones (HOT) and private secluded zones (COLD), based on the anticipated spatial requirements of the users. The HOT zones are organised closer to the entrance and COLD zones deeper in the office. A primary corridor spine connects the entire open office with attached open collaborative spaces, encouraging active informal activity and group dynamics.

A range of discussion areas, such as the large group hosting zone, enclosed, semi-enclosed and meeting areas, are designed as configurable spaces. The use of a trapezoidal table module allows the space to be transformed from a public function or seminar room to a meeting room or even workshop area.

The collaborative spaces are a series of configurable semi-enclosed pods, equipped with high-tech gadgetry, touch-screens and projection display aids.

The project also involved an original design of an office collaborative workstation, ‘The Propeller’, which marries the conventional personal space of each user with a central communal zone for collaboration.

Users are organised within their collaborative clusters and can easily ‘slide’ to the centre for a quick discussion. The more efficient organisation of spaces also eliminates the need for satellite meeting tables in the office.

Urban farming is introduced through the incorporation of perforated aluminium planting screens and planting boxes as privacy screens in the collaborative spaces and meeting rooms. The integration of nature into the office creates a more casual and relaxed work environment, enhancing the emotional well-being and work productivity of its users.

The entrance of the Digital Planning Lab features a parametric wall that reflects the dynamic working culture of the office. The wall is constructed using a standardised unit of plywood block, multiplied and stacked in layers within a metal frame. The blocks are rotated in incremental degrees to achieve a dynamic ‘movement’ effect. The parametric wall is highly buildable, with minimal wastage.

Project Name: Digital Planning Lab (The Propeller)
Location: Singapore
Completion Date: January 2017
Client/Owner/Developer: Digital Planning & Research Lab, URA
Architecture Firm: TA.LE Architects
Principal Architect: Tay Yanling
Images: TA.LE Architects