What does an office designed by introverts, for introverts look like?

Quiet is the new loud

Text: Adibah Isa

A first look at SILO, a new FARM-designed private office in Chinatown for businesses with good taste and privacy in close quarters

Screw disruptive design. Why collaborate when you can be forever alone? Why be forced — or, ahem, driven by design — to mingle when you hate small talk? With a co-working space opening up every other month in Singapore, you're spoilt for choice as a start-up, fintech and satellite company or SME looking for a space to grow. But just like choosing the right pair of denim bottoms to fit your every curve and bump, looking for the right office means sieving through lifestyle perks and add-ons (like free weekly cupcakes), boutique hotel-like aesthetics to determine what employees really need. 

Enter SILO, a private office along Chinatown's Temple Street. Spread across three shophouses, it's designed "by introverts, for introverts", according to its press materials. Conceived by Y.C. Teo and Stacy Tan (whose combined expertise lie in anthropology, construction, design, technology and textile), SILO is both a meditative and constructive work environment. Consisting of 13 rooms for two to nine-people offices, two boardrooms, bathrooms, a shower, discussion rooms and a breakout space, SILO's a nod in the other direction, turning away from buzzwords such as "collaborative", "community" and "engagement". While Teo's used to communal and social spaces like Camp Kilo Charcoal Club and The Working Capitol (he worked on the former and was a founding member of the latter), SILO's for clients who understand that not everything needs to be lived out loud.

At first whiff, the blend of Cyprus, eucalyptus, lavender, wild orange and bergamot combines to prime you for a constructive and focused day ahead. Enter into what looks like a high-end yoga studio, with timber, brass, stone, clay and marble setting the stage — a stark contrast from Temple Street's buzz of chinaware retailers and tinsmiths. The ambient-lit, dark corridors and stairwells wind like a maze across two floors, where artwork by Rizibë makes its presence known in quiet corners. Designed by FARM (the studio behind Airbnb Singapore's office and boutique hotel Llyod's Inn), the spatial narrative is one that seeks privacy — from the covered private office doors to the breakout tables that turn toward the wall as opposed to each other. Its bathrooms ditch communal sinks and mirrors, allowing for total privacy. The choice of handwash? Aesop's Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, which ticks all the right boxes.

Inside, each private office is fitted with an electronic height-adjustable table, private pantry, fridge, microwave over, television screen and wardrobe — the latter often missing from many offices we've visited. The nano-technology laminated tabletops are fitted with sleek cable spots, while slots by the door for mail and garbage collection lessen outdoor interaction. Attracting businesses that value privacy and discretion, SILO also facilitates the use of private servers. Scroll through our gallery above.

SILO is located at 15B Temple Street. Tel: 6224-1004.


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