Souvenirs made by local artisans are the best ideas to gift friends or relatives abroad but hunting them down in Singapore can be challenging. Not if Design Orchard — a space located smack in the middle of Singapore’s shopping district can help it.
The new 2.5-storey development houses a showcases these brands for retail on the first floor while incubation spaces take up the remaining levels. The lush green rooftop will also host events for both Design Orchard’s brands and the public against the backdrop of Orchard Road.
Design Orchard is spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and makes up part of the government’s ongoing efforts to transform Orchard Road into a lifestyle destination amidst lush greenery.
The structure it inhabits focuses on the same ethos and is dreamt up by acclaimed firm WOHA Architects in collaboration with Sunray Woodcraft Construction. The contemporary space is flanked by concrete, glass, timber and landscape elements, showcasing the best of Singapore’s talent whilst adding diversity to the Orchard streetscape. Its sloping rooftop features lush greenery and timber seats — offering a public respite from the bustle of the city’s famed shopping precinct.
The project aims to shine a spotlight on local artisans, as well as a platform to groom new and emerging talents in the lifestyle and fashion sector. Homegrown retailer Naiise will operate the retail showcase, which will feature 61 homegrown brands spanning categories such as fashion apparel, beauty and wellness, food souvenirs, and small home furnishings. Some highlights are Artisan of Sense, famed for their natural artisan soy candles, women’s clothing store QLOTHÈ, and social enterprise The Animal Project.
“Singapore is home to many global brands. As these brands become more ubiquitous, we noticed that more people are drawn to local products with a Singapore story,” said Ranita Sundra, Director of Retail and Dining at STB, “Design Orchard is thus an exciting opportunity for us to profile the best of Singapore talent under one roof at a prime location on world-famous Orchard Road. Local and international visitors can look forward to a livelier and more exciting Orchard Road, with the opening of this new development.”
Design Orchard will open to the public on 25 January.