Ace of space: Luxury has a new blue-ribbon address. Ever since Space Furniture announced its plans for the ambitious unveiling of the S$50 million (RM123 million) Space Asia Hub, expectations have been running high. Last year, furniture aficionados got to witness the realisation of this long-awaited dream spread across a cluster of three adjoining blocks comprising two unique heritage buildings and a glass block in the Lion City’s Arts District at Bencoolen Street. Nothing escaped the lavish attention to detail – from the architectural façade to the interiors and furniture arrangement, right down to the military precision reflected in the chosen date represented in 11.11.2011, heralding a brand new chapter in Space’s history.
Wooing the market with many first-of-its-kind retail concepts covering multiplex features of flagship galleries representing premium design brands from Europe and North America, within the luxe walls of Space Asia Hub are some of the world’s most coveted furniture and homewares. Furniture fashioned by the creativity of international designers for visitors to touch and feel before making informed purchase decisions are showcased within the designer feel of the interior settings there.
The 40,000 sq ft contemporary space combine the charm of an old villa, a conservation shophouse and an ultra-modern glass block all housing the latest concepts by top furniture designers of the world.
“The Space Asia Hub is a gallery of furniture design, second to none. The interiors occupied by each brand have distinctive characters of their own. From the dramatic vertical landscaped wall in the enclave occupied by B&B Italia/Maxalto, to the scenic loft deck showcasing
Flexform Mood furniture – each brand area has its own unique identity,” explains Syddal Wee, general manager of Space Furniture, Asia Operations.
“It brings together not just architect-designed interior environments but also the expression of world-class designers whose furniture and lighting pieces have been lauded throughout a few generations.”
Space blueprint for Kuala Lumpur: With the dynamics of Singapore’s Space Asia Hub in place, the battle plan was to strengthen Space Furniture’s market
share in Kuala Lumpur. Operating from its Bangsar Baru showroom since 2006, it was time to cope with increasing demand from the market by shifting to Intermark in KL.
“What inspired the Space Asia Hub in Singapore and the move to The Intermark for Space KL was the fact that we were head and shoulders above the Australian group in terms of growth and profitability.
So there was confidence on the part of the owners to invest while factoring in a known fact that the growth is more in Asia really. This was also reflected in the Harvey Norman business which also belongs to the Space owners,” says Wee.
Summing up the short-term plans for Space to continue strengthening its operations, he also acknowledged that it is a new dream to make Space Singapore a true Asian hub.
“I’m looking at establishing the design corridor for KL and Singapore. Katie, the chairman, has a vision of doing something similar for Singapore in KL. But this is more past mid-term period. The mid-term goal is about strengthening
our position as we always call ourselves a premium contemporary lifestyle resource,” shares Wee.
“With the makeover, the purpose-built showroom in Space Asia Hub was realised. Given the fact that we were more than double the size (in terms of area) with double digit growth, we had to cast the net wider and establish the definitive standard. In Singapore, we have customers from ten different countries including India, Pakistan, the Middle East, China, Korea, Vietnam and even Japan buying from us.
“The realisation of the vision of the Space Asia Hub that we started last year is one-of-its-kind in the world. In Malaysia, what we have done is to raise the bar and I am hoping that people will think this is the definitive showroom in Malaysia right now. ”
The rest, as they say, is history. Space corridorAsia Hub now roars loudly in the Lion City with an A-list of designer brands.
Replicating the lifestyle settings of Space Asia Hub, Wee says the shift of Space KL from Bangsar to The Intermark was “necessitated from us needing to have a bigger space so we could effectively display the brands that we have in the space”.
“We needed that and I’ve been repeatedly told that the pool of old money is significantly larger than Singapore. As a trailblazer in the luxury lifestyle premium design sector, the need for relocation arose when we found that our previous location could not cater to our expanding lifestyle event needs.
“Our ambition in becoming the fit-out of choice for high-end developers also meant that we have to dedicate more floor space to adequately showcase the range of furniture,” shares Wee.
Pics courtesy of Space Furniture.