81 South Bridge Road

Our client shared his vision of a versatile workspace that would be conducive for creativity, collaboration, and communal activities. As he wanted to demonstrate the opportunities available through adaptive reuse, we were allowed to be adventurous in our design and plans for restoration of the three-storey Modern Style shophouse in the Boat Quay District.  

The ground-floor of this Art-deco heritage building was designed as a multi-use space where it could be a showroom, or could also be used for F&B, retail or as an office. To expand the space, we designed the primary window such that it could swing out.  

Per URA’s conservation guidelines to protect original architectural features, we retained and restored the name Yoo Yuen & Co Ltd carved in both English and Chinese on the façade. In addition to the debossed business name of the founding company, the facade was fully conserved with the original granolithic textured wall finish and colours.

Extensive ID and restoration works was carried out to reinforce and replace decrepit structure, materials, doors & window. Improvement works involved the addition of a new attic floor, repositioning the staircase to improve circulation and upgrading the building to comply with current fire codes & building regulations. 

We found a way to creatively hide the aircon units in the roof but as a result, found ourselves rather limited in space on the outdoor deck. Thus, we decided to use a cat ladder as a feature design and to enable access for the aircon maintenance contractor. 

We removed part of the roof and installed a clear glass skylight to allow more natural light to come in and ensured each floor has en-suite bathroom. On the top floor, we installed a mezzanine level and an unmissable spiral staircase leading to the roof terrace. The stairwell is made of framed glass panels to allow more natural lighting to fill the space while keeping a consistent theme. The textured walls alluded to the property’s history of being previously owned by a textile trading company, their darker hues mirroring its distinctively traditional façade. 

Click to read our news article

  • Year


  • Size

    470 m2

  • Services

    Architecture + ID

  • Website