Project Spotlight: Designing The Chillax Market

Our most challenging project to date was the recently completed Chillax Market – The Grandstand at Singapore’s Turf City.

A wreck of a space with little or no electrics, water, aircon or even windows, the 6,900 square foot interior was still in its original condition as a race track viewing grandstand with multiple tier seating and large overhanging roof with exposed beams. Whilst challenging and needing a lot of patching up, meters and meters of wiring, an obscene amount of white paint and enough glass to rebuild Crystal Palace, it was also without doubt the most exciting project with the largest amount of potential. The space naturally lent itself to multiple zoned areas. The lower floor would be more of an open plan, market area with various vendors selling everything from shoes and fashion to home accessories, jewellery and even hand crafted children’s toys. The upper floor connected by a ramp was to cater for a cafe, florist, central till area and more vendors. A smaller area behind the main grandstand housed a hair and nail salon and more fashion.

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Established in London, England, and having experience with building preservation, we as designers base a lot of our creative solutions around incorporating architectural features and preserving the history of a building and using these elements as a highlight in the design. The most dramatic feature in this space was the beautiful industrial beams that travelled the width of the space. With visible bolts and supports we wanted to make this a feature. By coating everything in white but leaving many of the columns and walls with their distressed imperfections, this gave the space an aged look as though the market had been there for years.

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To create the three retail areas, we had to first level the upper tier, hiding the many steps and creating one large floor space. This was done using ribbing and a wooden base to cover the entire length and width of the upper floor. We could then lay the aged wooden floor effect to suit the design of a European market.

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Before and after shots of the Eclectic Cafe and Flower Bar.

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One of the largest challenges of the project was to light the space. Whilst the beams were a fantastic architectural feature and one we wanted to highlight, we required lots of track lighting and pendant lighting for the lower floor to take on that market / industrial look and feel. Our trick to accomplish this was to purchase cheaper lighting from IKEA and spray them in a black gloss to give them a monochrome theme.

The intensions throughout the project were to create an engaging, inviting and interesting space that had an aged, mature look and feel that would cater for multiple types of vendors and products without distracting from the products themselves. To view more images of The Chillax Market or similar projects take a look at the Elliot James commercial portfolio by clicking here.

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