Capturing Community in Place

A first look at our new Singapore Office

Behind the Scenes — Aaron Taylor Harvey

Our environments team recently transformed our Singapore office; here’s some insight into their vision and process.

It is important to our team to capture the local identity of the community in the spaces we build–this desire drove our vision for this office. When we can identify the right partner, our team embraces the chance to bring in other creative minds to help interpret our brand and philosophy of space. We worked with FARM, a local architecture practice, to help us achieve our vision. We selected their team because we were compelled by their design thinking, as well as their long-term engagement with the Singapore design community.

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Embracing constraints

The design philosophy of this project was based on applying Singapore building typologies and materials to our office space. One of the examples of this is the “Front Porch”, where reception lives; this reflects sharing characteristics of the many of the indoor/outdoor spaces in Singapore. Working within the constraints of an existing structure of a space can be a challenge, but in this office, we took the central stairs that connect the three floors and created something new called the “Skyscraper.” It’s enclosed with traditional ventilation blocks, but through design becomes the central hub; it houses bar seating, a reading nook and a “Clubhouse.”  

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Bringing our space to life

To inspire our employees and bring the spirit of travel into the office, we recreate homes available to rent on Airbnb in our conference rooms all over the world. To continue this tradition, some listing rooms in our Singapore office include an apartment in Batignolles, an Andy Warhol-inspired art loft in Bangkok, a caravan in Cornwall and a villa in Kuta.

Our team also developed the Employee Design Experience as a program to engage employees in the process of bringing these spaces to life.  They are encouraged to go to local markets to source materials, work with artists, and be creative. Not only does this give the employees a creative outlet within the office, but we find that it helps them become a lot more connected to, not only the space they’ve designed, but the company as a whole.

The space was fully transformed to fit the Airbnb design aesthetic and reflect the local team’s work style and values. The result? Our Singapore office is a celebration of place which perfectly parallels Airbnb brand values.

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Aaron Taylor Harvey is an Environments Design Lead at Airbnb.

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