From A New Slant
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 11/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Singapore-born and Ivy League–educated, this trio came together in 1999. But it really made its first mark with installations for the Biennale di Venezia and Singapore Arts Festival in 2004. Now, Sciskew Collaborative skews toward architecture. Current projects include an eco-friendly residence in Singapore, Hamilton House Brasserie in Shanghai, and a master plan for the Central Atelier complex of artist workshops in Songjiang, China. And nothing gets lost in translation.
Koon Wee and Eunice Seng, a married couple, and their fellow partner, I-Shin Chow, operate out of offices in Singapore, Shanghai, and New York—allowing Sciskew to explore its methodology on two continents. That means "excavating local stories," Seng says, then reinterpreting them in a contemporary aesthetic.
There's no better example than a renovated Shanghai apartment. Sciskew redefined function areas with the help of an angular walnut built-in that meanders through the otherwise open space—and references the Cultural Revolution, when people squeezed into small flats devised basic wooden cabinetry to divide them up. As for the white vinyl flooring, the reference is pure New York loft.
For a real New York loft, the design story also centered on notions of storage and partition. A sinuous unit of bamboo and paper handled both for the banker client.
Back in Shanghai, at Sony BMG Music Entertainment's China headquarters, the architects took cues from the changing nature of music distribution. The folded forms, Chow explains, were inspired by "makeshift CD stands."