Among the cookie-cutter cubicles in Kuala Lumpur’s business district, the apbcOffices stand out for their innovative design and unconventional textures in a completely formal environment.
Text By : Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Courtesy : apbcOffices
The sleek offices in Kuala Lumpur’s main shopping and business district have a chic new neighbour. With one hundred and twenty-nine workstations, two meeting rooms and one conference room, apbc’s new serviced office is deliberately not your usual chrome and polish cubicle. Instead, the boutique office, on the 16th floor of The Pavilion Tower, pushes the boundaries of traditional design and conjures up a natural and soothing environment in the concrete jungle.
apbcOffices provide serviced work spaces, virtual offices and meeting facilities in Singapore, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. They are fast gaining a reputation for their experiential take on design and courage in handling interiors. They have several firsts to their name, including an entire building of serviced offices in Malaysia and recently, Beijing’s biggest serviced office (44,000 sq. ft).
For their new Kuala Lumpur office, they called in the leading Singaporean design firm Asylum. Founded in 1999 by Creative Director Chris Lee, Asylum is a company with an interesting portfolio – a design studio, a retail store, workshop and a record label, and over 100 international awards. Billed as an “idea company,” Asylum takes creativity very seriously, as is evident in its designs. They even have a book – The Asylum Monograph – that took over eleven years to complete.
The Pavilion Tower offices opened in October 2011 and were designed to incorporate natural elements at every turn. When you enter the 10,473 sq ft office, walls lined with timber strips greet you, simulating a walk among trees.
“From the start we had wanted to avoid the typical sleek and hard feel of most offices. We asked ourselves “what if going to work was like talking a walk in the park?” says Cara Ang, Design Director at Asylum.
The team started with the idea of using vertical timber strips to recreate the effects of tree trunks. These vertical strips allowed them to create “organic corridors within the space.” These corridors lead to the reception desk which is carved out of natural stone. The lift lobby, with subtly painted green strips on the sides, also has stones that double up as lobby seats. “Breakout areas” in the corridors promote casual discussions with tree stumps provided for informal seating, and branches used as décor.
The boardroom is not your usual formal space. Instead, a rush of red fabric lilies sweep across the walls and ceilings breaking all the rules of what a ‘serious’ meeting space should be like. The sparks of creativity are sure to be ignited in a funky and colourful space as this.
The highlight of the pantry or eating area is a green ‘living wall’. Thriving with live plants, this area “makes eating-in less dreadful or even something to look forward to!” says Cara Ang. A sloped black table adds drama to the space.
Asylum’s design of the space garnered a more than positive feedback during its preview, it made out the space to be a “creative, pleasant, soothing, calming, and most of all an out of the box and one-of-a-kind serviced office in the whole of Kuala Lumpur.”
Simple and elegant design coupled with vibrant colours and a dash of installation art makes for an intriguing day at work. apbc believes that “a workspace is here that opens up imaginations and stimulates interactions.” Wouldn’t you rather spend a day among red lilies and butterflies instead of a boring room with only a screen for inspiration? With plans to expand across Asia, a creative and exclusive apbcoffice might soon be closer than you think.