Masan, a Vietnamese firm with interests in banking, mining and food, conceived this Singapore office as a showcase to a world still generally unfamiliar with their brand.
It would also serve as a first point of contact for individuals aspiring to join the firm, and as a base for the CEO and partners. These requirements necessitated the inclusion of a conference room and two smaller meeting spaces in the design.
Other functional necessities were an open-plan work space for approximately 10 staff, and a small number of enclosed offices. The site selected was a 5,033 sq-ft, fifth floor space in Singapore's prestigious Marina Bay development.
Designed by M Moser, the completed office makes its impression the moment one steps out of the lift. The reception area is expansive, with two-thirds of its area covered by a water feature symbolising Masan's origins along the Mekong River.
Anchored above it is a Masan logo deconstructed into multiple sculptural elements installed along an eight metre depth. As a result, the logo seems to ‘disassemble' when viewed from any perspective but head-on. Also ‘floating' on the water feature is the conference room, a simple transparent glass-encased space atop a timber ‘raft'. Here, the design's painstaking attention to detail and finish is at its most impressive: to make a near-seamless transition between floor and water, just 3mm separates the two elements.
References to Masan's origins are literally just below the surface of this otherwise contemporary, sharply-defined environment. Structural columns throughout the space feature ‘peeled back' sections inset with multilayered, blue-tinted satellite images of Ho Chi Minh City. Their vividness also adds bursts of energetic colour to a palette dominated by the neutral hues of wood and stone, and the cool transparency of glass. The office was completed and handed over on June 25, 2012.