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Take your office home: Singapore developer GuocoLand offers dual-concept flats

November 10, 2021 GMT

Capitalising on the current work-from-home trend, a Singaporean developer has launched a concept for a home that doubles up as an office.

Flats at Midtown Bay in the city’s central business district combine colour schemes and furniture designs to simulate an office’s corporate look while featuring a spacious living and dining areas with wardrobes and kitchen furnishings, according to Dora Chng, general manager for residential at GuocoLand.

“We have been looking at the changing lifestyle of people living in the city, how they are working. With the introduction of smart devices, we are working extended hours now whether we like it or not or consciously or unconsciously,” said Chng. “At Midtown Bay we have designed the units in such a way you can operate an office from your home.”

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The building is part of Guoco Midtown, a mixed-use development of premium offices, public and retail spaces, residences and a conserved building in Bugis, which hosts an interchange station on Singapore’s underground mass transit. It is similar to the Admiralty district in Hong Kong, which is next to the main business zone of Central.

Working from home has become a new normal since the start of last year as organisations adopted flexible work arrangements to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, a one-bedroom unit measuring 409 square feet that costs around S$1.46 million (US$1.08 million) has a floor-to-ceiling height of 3.2 metres (10.5 feet), offering space for a bed and wardrobe on a mezzanine-like structure and freeing the space below to be converted into a home office.

“So if you’re a small-business owner, it is possible to actually start from your home in this layout where there is a four-seater desk, which can have two of your employees come and work from the unit,” she said. “The wardrobes in the rooms and kitchen and the cabinets, they are all in shiny white finish to actually simulate a very corporate look so that if you are using it as an office it doesn’t feel like it is too much like a residential unit and it doesn’t look too homely.”

Residents of Midtown Bay and office tower tenants in the 3.2 hectare development also have access to an 80,000 sq ft network hub, which has meeting and event rooms, restaurants, a lounge, swimming pool and a bamboo grove with a jogging track on the rooftop. The facilities, which come with a subscription fee, offer homeowners a place to host business meetings.

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In Hong Kong, homeowners who have adapted the work-from-home trend are asking for interior designs that allow them to “comfortably work, workout, relax and entertain at home”, said Ellie Bradley, founder and creative director at Atelier Lane, an interior design studio in Central.

“We are definitely seeing a greater understanding of, and desire for, the creation of more multifunctional environments,” she said. “We work at the luxury end of the market, which typically has greater square footage, so dedicated office spaces, more comprehensively equipped gyms, professional-grade kitchens and of course state-of-the-art technologies for lighting and communications are key.”

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia. For more SCMP stories, please download our mobile app, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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