Studio Class at UC Berkeley
Studio Class at UC Berkeley

Palladium Artisan Design Centre

This project was developed by Benedict Chew as a student from University of Melbourne and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.

This design concept is for a new artisan collective centre for DesignSingapore Council. The design centre for local artisans will be the nexus for all things crafted, a place where makers and businesses congregate to exchange ideas and conduct business, a place where the public can learn about handcrafted trades through its bazaars, exhibitions and programmes. It will house event space, exhibition gallery, artisan’s workshops with retail component, food and beverage units, auditorium, and classrooms. Located along Singapore’s shopping district in Orchard Road, the centre will serve the council’s mission of differentiating Singapore from global competition through design and promote artisanry (also known as specialised trade or handicraft). The site will be located at 232 Orchard Road, Singapore 238855.


The idea is to be the beacon, an anchor point in orchard road. A haven for the crafts and specialized goods within the busy streets of commercialism. Its form is derived from a mathematical algorithm called the Delaunay triangulation. Voronoi polygons may be thought of as the cells of a growth process. When these triangles meet, it creates a distortion and shapes the architecture. From there, spaces where formed and programs were placed. The building has 1 auditorium, 9 artisan workshops, 4 classrooms, 1 exhibition gallery, 1 retail outlet, 3 cafes and a basement carpark.

The featured space amongst all these spaces is the Auditorium on the 5th storey. Its unique form shaped the auditorium to its exciting and funky feel that elevates the quality of the space.Its fagade follows the Delaunay pattern which allows tubular steel truss that span across various floors. Some structural, some just for aesthetics, however the building cannot exist without the fagade as it is shaped by it.

Palladium, the chemical element of atomic number 46, a rare silvery-white metal resembling platinum, also has another meaning; a safeguard or source of protection. Therefore the design centre is one of a kind in form, function and meaning. It houses artisans and their work, as well as promote the craftsmanship skill in the bustling city of Singapore where almost everything has lost its uniqueness to the growing manufacturing world we live in.


(8 Storey design centre with 1 basement carpark at 232 Orchard Road, Singapore 238855)