Revamped 8 Robinson Road Offers Green, Spacious Office Spaces
SINGAPORE – The former ASO Building, a 999-year leasehold commercial property, has completed its extensive renovation and celebrated its re-opening on 30 August. It was also rebranded to bear the name of its address, 8 Robinson Road, according to a report from The Edge last week.
The latest facelift saw the addition of new electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. In particular, the old lift was replaced with a new one that’s equipped with air purifiers, while the building’s front and rear facades were altered. Moreover, a new rear entrance and drop-off area were put up, in addition to its primary front entrance.
8 Robinson Road’s plant and equipment, which were more than 30 years old, had to be changed. “That was part of the impetus for such a comprehensive refurbishment this time,” said Matthew Cantor, Managing Director and Head of real estate at Kiri Capital, which oversees the asset on behalf of the Sohmen family, which owns the commercial property.
Interestingly, the 16-storey revamped building was designed as “vertically stacked shophouses” by Singapore’s ID Architects. With a total net leasable area of 32,000 sq ft (office component only), the property contains just eight office units, mainly duplex office suites measuring between 2,300 sq ft and 4,510 sq ft, with half of them featuring a balcony. Cantor also revealed that one of the office units will have a Raffles Place signage.
Additionally, all office units feature permeable rear glazing, enabling complete indoor-outdoor flexibility on every floor. Apart from each having their own dedicated toilets and end-of-trip facilities, every office unit has its own air supply thanks to the building’s new variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air-conditioning system. The toilets also have automated doors and air purifiers.
“When COVID hit, we knew we would have to fully reinvent our building. Our entire design process was conceived to accommodate the post-COVID needs of office occupiers,” said Cantor, adding that office tenants will appreciate not sharing airflow nor toilets with other occupants.
8 Robinson Road was also awarded a Green Mark Gold Plus certification under the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) more stringent Green Mark sustainability criteria in 2017.
In particular, the revamped commercial property targets occupants who consider shophouses as an alternative to traditional office space. “We tried to address some of the constraints of a shophouse, such as energy and space efficiency, to capture a new market segment for our building,” Cantor explained.
Another target group of would-be clients are companies that have outgrown their co-working space, as well as businesses looking to downsize from larger workspaces spanning 7,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft.
“It could be a sweet spot for some companies looking to right size or for maturing firms with more established operations in Singapore,” commented Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield’s Research Head for Singapore and Southeast Asia.