Following an international competition, the latex glove manufacturer Supermax selected Szczepaniak Astridge, to design its new headquarters, in Malysia. The world's largest supplier of medical gloves and PPE had seen an increase this year in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and needs to expand its buildings accordingly.
Six Architects were invited to compete in the international competition to design and build the new global headquarters for Supermax. Szczepaniak Astridge’s design was chosen as the winning entry and is now starting the early design process. Imagining a project that portrays “Supermax’s brand values and cements their position as a World Leader in supplying PPE equipment”, the London based architecture firm created a 9-story building that will accommodate R&D, sales and marketing offices, finance and banking department, car parking, training center, auditorium, lecture hall, restaurants, grand ballroom for 1000 people, event spaces. In fact, the winning entry presented a “particular vision for greenery-filled offices behind a facade that will pay homage to the natural origins of the latex gloves”, according to the official release.
Inspired by Chinese culture, the number 9 considered lucky, and Feng Shui principles, the building will allow for future flexibility in-between floors for expansion, generating a natural environment inside of the building. Located in Klang, Malaysia, the new 385,000 sq.ft Supermax Global Headquarters is centered around the post COVID interpretation of what an office will be. Moreover, on the same site, two factories are being built to keep up with this increased demand, along with the new headquarters in the town.
Scheduled to start construction in 2021, the Supermax headquarters puts in place a 9x9 meter grid building with a Brise-Soleil cladding system. In addition, the project creates a green belt, a tropically planted, lush area covered “for people to spend time whilst being shaded from the sun’s intense heat”. Regarding the facades, the design was inspired by the grids of the rubber tree plantations, from which Supermax uses rubber to produce the medical gloves. Featuring slim vertical elements, the façade puts in place an intricate pattern of markings echoed in the office's design. Moreover, these patterns are also reinterpreted in the layout of the ground floor entrance, restaurant, library, auditorium, lecture hall etc.