Snowy white, fluid forms in an avant-garde configuration seemingly free from gravity—this is not a scene from a science-fiction movie, but an actual studio showroom of the Singapore interior design company Triz Arte.
By only looking at the pictures you would never imagine that this showroom is in fact located inside a humble brick building that used to be a warehouse. This fully enclosed unit has a total area of 630 sq. ft, with convertible space to sit occasional visitors, storage area, magazine slots, and a hidden space for catering office functions.
To make everything so neat and handy—and more importantly, to make it alive—credit goes to Triz Arte creative director Thriza Teo. “I always believe interiors should be injected with life and emotions. The interior should be able to make an in-depth communication with the audience,” she explains. “Interior should be felt and not just seen.”
Formless, abstract, illusion, and life are key elements behind this striking design. Inspired by the different qualities of water, which to Teo symbolize happiness and excitement (snow), relaxation and soothingness (water), and imagination (cloud), the space takes the form of a complex hexahedron—an “ice cube,” as she describes it. To actually carve out the inner space and to encapsulate the dynamic yet static forms of water, each line and surface of the sculpted forms is methodically realized from five successive rotations of the complex hexahedron about a vertex.
Moving from fantasy to reality is not at all a simple and straightforward formula. First, the team had to remove all existing ceiling boards to reveal the original 23-ft.-tall ceiling height. Secondly, the frontage of the building was replaced with a full glass panel, and a skylight effect was created within the enclosed unit to bring life and vitality to the space. This artificial light fixture will be lit up from the east in the morning, middle by noon, and west in the evening, creating an interesting movement of light and shadow that reminds people of the passage of time.
Due to the complexity of the design, each rotation was modeled in plasticine and a computer simulation program to indicate its motion and life in parallel to the renewing properties of water. The first rotation constitutes an ideal protrusion and denotes the showroom entrance. Circulation routes and the positioning of furniture determine the angles of the subsequent rotations, where storage and shelving carefully are inserted in alcoves and recesses to meet the functional requirements. Even the leftover niches were fully utilized for invisible hinges and concealed alcoves. With a few simple motions, the showroom can easily be transformed into a meeting room for discussion.
Rounded edges, angles of the still rotation, protrusion beyond the targeted ceiling height, artificial moving water on the skylight—with so many wide ideas brainstormed, the construction process was a great challenge, but also fun. “Debates and discussion were constantly made with the sub-contractor to get the ideal interconnecting points,” Teo recalls. “Most of the time I needed to personally mark the point on the physical site.” Thanks to their bold and meticulous efforts, this atmospheric and surreal showroom finally came true to celebrate the marriage of art and architecture.
Project: Triz Arte Showroom. Owner: Thriza Teo. Interior designer: Triz Arte; Thriza Teo. Carpentry: Wo Jia Furniture, Wo Tai Ho. Dry wall/fiber board: Lau Hong Chiang. Electrical works: KT sunlight electrical - David Teo. Photographer: Chee Kiong.
Location: Singapore. Total floor area: 630 sq. ft. No. of floors: 1. Total staff size: 4.