The site is a former school compound which was built in the 60s. The school was vacated in 2001 and the building was subsequently converted into a commercial development in 2013. The premise is located where the old library hall used to be. Situated at the highest part of the building, it contains an expanse of column free space crowned by a series of barrel vaults. Louvre windows that extend from floor to arch allow natural light and air to flow through in abundance. Even though the existing space was taken over in a derelict state its immense potential was immediately recognised. Like Kahn’s brick, the space was articulate in what it wants to be, which provided the point of departure for the project. Seeking to celebrate and activate the intrinsic qualities of the existing space, the scheme is conceived as an orchestration of varied and contextually sensitive spatial experiences instead of the function-centric approach typical of office design. It dovetails with the design direction, which rejects the rigidity of the typical bureau in favour of a creative environment that challenges conventions and celebrates informal spaces – an Anti-Office. This approach creates seamless informal spaces where functional boundaries become ambiguous. The resultant plethora of physical settings accommodates the manifold activities of an Anti-Office fluidly.
Park + Associates seeks to create coherent spaces where function and beauty speak a common language. For the firm, the dialogue of architectural elements shapes a space, takes it beyond its everyday, functional character. It is with this ethos that Park + Associates pursues a vision of architecture as a fundamental articulation of space and form, through which beauty and purity can be discovered. The firmâ€™s strategy is one of subtraction and control to preserve the necessary simplicity of spaces. Each project is undertaken with a rigorous eye for detail, placement and materials, with an artistic sensitivity to the â€œintangiblesâ€ of light, space and form. Charting a journey for the user in an unique space; creating sophisticated spaces that inspire, invigorate, and refine the senses â€“ that is what Park + Associates sets out to achieve. In tandem with its explorations of spaces, the firm remains sensitive to environmental concerns, seeking to appropriate eco-friendly materials and strategies into each project.