Rattan Clouds

Client Emporium of Modern Man (EOMM)
Program Interior Refurbishment (Retail/Office)
Area 68 m²
Status Completed
Team Kevin Lim
Beatrice Ong
Photography Béton Brut Khoo Guo Jie
Annimation Playback Studio – Michael Yeoh
Year of Completion 2015

Rattan Clouds is a collection of modular rattan capsules configured for seating, storage, display and lighting.

Inspired by the traditional South-east Asian rattan receptacles, Rattan Clouds reinterprets rattan in new modern forms for a retail shop.

A ground floor unit with lofty 4.7m ceiling space was to house both retail and office facilities for Emporium of Modern Man – a shop that sells lifestyle goods for modern-day sensibilities. Shop frontage was naturally prioritised for retail and the office facilities were pushed backwards with an adjoining access through a giant central pivot wall/door.  The approach to the dividing partitions was minimal and light; white human-height wall/door with storage cabinets and a floating concrete sales counter.

The retail was to have a non-permanence quality with flexible options to accommodate exhibitions, installations and gatherings.  Capitalising on the high ceiling space, some of these capsules would be suspended and lowered/raised to accommodate different events.

Working with traditional rattan craftsmen and using existing techniques of bending rattan according to different curvatures, Rattan Clouds was designed to meet multi-configurability, functionality and structural integrity.  The initial spherical concept of containing an object was developed to form 2-3 piece modules that could be stacked to create multi-layered displays.  Arched rattan also formed a strong base for seating.  These Clouds were also made operable to create a split level for storage and display.  In the various permutations of the basic form, half-spheres of these modules were removed to form flat surfaces for display.  These modules were held up by a system of brass pulleys and stainless steel wires that could be lowered/raised by hand cranks.  The last permutation of the module was to house halo-like illuminations that created shadow textures.

Rattan Clouds are a flexible, modular system that shifts according to the multi-usability of the space, adding a light ephemeral touch to the retail experience.