Text description provided by the architects. Mantab Workplace is one of S/LAB10’s latest endeavours. Comprising a complete internal overhaul of an existing bungalow—the team was required to re-examine the office/workspace typology in a Southeast Asian climate and locality for a local property development company in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia in producing the final design scheme. The firm required not just a workspace for its growing team, but also a series of spaces for hosting and entertaining their clients. As such, the existing single unit, multi-storey former residence was transformed into a gleaming corporate hub for a private entity that seamlessly integrates business and leisure.
What stands out in particular in Mantab Workplace is its gleaming bold façade. Looming over the quiet suburban street, the gold-copper alloy façade rises up from the building’s ground level in shielding its interior furtively. The triangulated facets of the matte- and highly polished finishing of gold-copper alloy are seemingly arbitrary–but in essence are conceptually extrapolated from the corporation’s name and brand. Translated from Malay language, “mantab” means solidity; an unshakeable integrity.
The designers likened this to the hardiness of a diamond—with no single facet on the jewel alike, yet abound with impeccably hardy beauty. Inspired as well by the Malaysian shophouse vernacular of folding iron shutters, the gold-copper alloy clad folding panels are hinged and operable. Whether angled half-shut with its interiors peeking out to its suburban extents, or closed in entirety for privacy and to keep out the glare of tropical light out—the façade is eye-catching and captivating, with the allure of it leaving many a visitor guessing what lies within.
The design brief was unusual: to create a series of spaces within the building to suit a variety of purposes that ranged from business to social. Thus, S/LAB10 was tasked to revise and challenge the norms of an office typology. The new programme was to include offices for the company’s three directors as well a display gallery and numerous leisure spaces for hosting clients.
The team sought to fulfil the client’s requirements by delivering a design that not only re-worked the aforementioned, but also resulted in a comprehensive design scheme that was both visually striking and practical in its function.
The project inherits the house’s basic structure (which proved advantageous in dealing with the site’s naturally steep incline). In place, is a dexterous play of cantilevering volumes, contrasting surfaces, materials and texture, as well as the considered use and design of intricate details throughout.
The consolidation of the building’s existing structural framework with a bold play of surface and volumetric elements culminates in a strong, sensual spatial experience and language throughout. And subsequently, a confident, bold architectural presence and visual identity for the client prudently set within the existing building’s typology.