Set within the neighbourhoods in Singapore, the design intent of this space is to advocate the teachings of Buddhism—by composing a conducive and minimal environment for visitors to linger and disconnect from the world temporarily.
Traditional book shelving is reimagined as elevated segments to welcome the public at the entrance, creating a light and unobtrusive feeling. Inside, mass and volume converge, through the juxtaposition of light oak and white walls. A dramatic descent in the ceiling height attained a visual illusion of close proximity to natural lighting all-day.
Holding the reading and reception areas at opposite ends, natural curves meet geometric lines yet again, offering differed perspectives in reference to the Way of Life in Buddhism—both endless and subject to impermanence. Artisanal greens inspired from natural landscapes are introduced into the space, adding a touch of life within.
Breaking the notion of how Buddhism is traditionally symbolised in Singapore (primarily through the use Chinese architectural elements and opulence), Reading Room is an evocation of true spirituality, a sense of zen and modernity, and ultimately—a state of labelless and formlessness.
Completed in 2021. Photography by Studio Periphery.