Architecture – Spark Architects has completed GRiD, a retail and social hub at the heart of Singapore’s Selegie Arts District. Sandwiched on a street corner between the School of the Arts (SOTA) and several time-worn shopping malls, “the energy of the exterior is carried into the interior spaces, redolent of an Instagram-friendly post-industrial aesthetic with neon lights and supersized post-industrial and arcade-like graphics.” Spark told Archipanic.
The Instagram-friendly GRiD mall is informed by the Sophohouse, a Southeast Asian building model consisting of a street-level shop connected to the owner’s residence on the upper floor. According to Spark Architects, GRiD “is an excellent example of vibrant retrofitting of an existing building that extends its community relevance through positive reuse rather than wholesale demolition and reconstruction.”
The venue is graphically personalised with a slot machine-style jackpot GRiD Logo, with the letter i representing the word self. The GRiD’s architecture and brand name have been integrated into the design of the facade, entrances, wayfinding, and interior design.
At the centre of GRiD is a new social stair, a vital component of the dynamic new corner driving footfall to food joints in the basement. The stair is a place to relax with friends, watch onscreen shows, or enjoy live performances by GRiD’s arts-focused tenants. The corner shops and social stairs have become a vibrant destination for Instagrammers, content creators and experience seekers.
Pop-up stores, remote-working/study zones, and socially shared spaces encourage communal events, public interaction, and space sharing. Floor graphics and ceiling patterns incorporate abstract and supersized versions of street directional signage and road markings. Graphic icons are designed for casual, youthful insouciance and motion.
“The post-industrial material palette embodying the spirit of grunge, freestyle expression, and arcade neon renders GRiD generationally different to its neutral neighbours, instead taking its colourful character from the vibrantly illuminated shophouses across the street.”
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