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Details at Every Turn: A Show Unit Designed by Gabriel Tan Studio

Gabriel Tan’s penchant for details results in a highly textural show unit for DUO Residences.

Details at Every Turn: A Show Unit Designed by Gabriel Tan Studio


January 23rd, 2018

Since establishing his eponymous studio in 2016, Gabriel Tan has racked up an impressive portfolio, creating products for brands such as The Conran Shop and Blå Station and also creative directing several ventures, one of them being new Japanese furniture brand Ariake.

Melding delicate craft details with uncomplicated forms, Tan’s designs are pleasing to the eye and tactile to the touch. This aesthetic can now be observed in a larger context – a show unit Tan has dressed up for DUO Residences. The 49-storey, 660-unit luxury development designed by famed German architect Ole Scheeren (with DP Architects) sits in the historic Malay-Arab conservation district, its sculptural towers clothed by a distinctive facade of hexagonal sunshade patterns. (Read about DUO in Cubes issue 90, on shelves in February!)

“The client wanted a design that could appeal to a more mature buyer group that is well travelled and has discerning taste. The user profile we envisioned was a couple in their late forties or early fifties with a young adult child in his or her early twenties,” shares Tan. His response is a tapestry of sophisticated materials, sweeping lines and geometric patterns.  

“Our concept was juxtaposition – between warm and cold materials, between fluid, curved surfaces and geometric patterns, between old-world luxury materials such as marble, leather and oak and contemporary form. We sought to bring about an eclectic but harmonious space that is rich in texture but at the same time minimal and contemporary,” Tan describes.

Breaking the rectilinear framework of the common spaces are a wave-like oak timber ceiling above the living room, echoed by a feature wall of curves that provides a cosy embrace at the dining area. This is set against a foil of white-and-grey geometric, marble-clad walls and cream-coloured marble flooring.

In the bedrooms, the leitmotif of geometric prints continues in the form of angular, three-dimensional acoustic cork panels on the walls. In one bedroom, Tan has custom-designed an artwork using antique mirror, leather and Maharam fabrics, marrying warm and cool materials. In the master bedroom, a timber bedhead with a herringbone pattern and gridded frame creates a strong statement, matched with a surprising cobalt colour-gradient wallpaper.

Furniture pieces are well curated, with a combination of dark timber and leather pieces from brands like Maruni and Karl Andersson matched with Tan’s own designs, such as a handsome valet with a hanging mirror with subtly chamfered profiles. The selection reflects a convergence of elegance and mindfulness of craft and proportions in harmony with the space.

Aside from making an impression, show units are meant to provide show unit viewers with possibilities, and in this respect, Tan has managed to do both.


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