A Playful “Twist” in the Surabayan Skyline

Photography By Chendra Cahyadi and Ivan Priatman

Situated in one of the largest cities in Indonesia, the Avian Tower in Surabaya has changed the skyline of the city with its unique curvature. This world-class piece of architecture built by PT Archimetric features an incredible 60-degree rotation, as well as colourful, creative workspaces designed by renowned architecture and interior firm, M Moser Associates.

The 20-storey building is the headquarters of Avian Brands, a renowned brand of paint in Indonesia. It was designed with its surrounding landscape and infrastructure in mind, using curves and twists inspired by the Waru Roundabout nearby. Each floor of the tower rotates, twisting a total of 60 degrees from the ground floor all the way to the top of the tower.

The whole façade of the building, designed by Ivan and Jimmy Priatman, is made out of glass to bring in sunlight from every direction. The glass used is a special low-e double glazing glass, which allows light in but blocks solar heat at the same time. This feature combined with a wide variety of views from every side of the building makes for unique workplace scenery.

The spiral shape of the building was built in an east-west orientation, which means the majority of the floors have north-south views. This strategic directionality helps the building reduce AC usage as it helps keep temperatures low during the day. For example, the western side of each floor of the building has a balcony that blocks sunlight and is used as a leisure room.

Stephen Lyon, Dymitr Malcew, Enya Sia and Jun Epifanio Pagalilauan from M Moser Associates were tasked to design the ground floor as well as floors 11 – 19 of the building. The firm was approached to develop a creative workspace and was in charge of developing the interiors of the building in a unique and colourful way.

The design brief given to the firm was to create an exciting, unique and future-oriented workplace that perfectly reflects the architecture of the building and the Avian brand itself. M Moser’s design strategy was to create an innovative environment that focuses on connectivity in order to facilitate collaboration throughout the building. In order to do so, they changed the initial base of the building by removing floors and creating double height voids. This opened up the space and provided effortless communication between each floor.

The ground floor of the building features fluid lines, with a monochromatic palette of white and green to juxtapose with the raw concrete elements. M Moser wanted to create abstract and sculptural interventions using fluid forms inspired by a drop of paint, and transforming this concept of fluidity using a solid form created using very advanced 3D modelling techniques.

Floors 11-19 of the building have different colours on each level in order to create distinction between them and give a sense of identity, as colour is the most instinctive way to express character and personality. It’s important to create a sense of “neighbourhood” and camaraderie in today’s workspaces, and pops of colour help brighten up a space and help with employees’ well being. Each floor is connected by stairs, and adjacent break-out areas on every level encourage movement, collaboration and teamwork.

On these levels, lots of furniture used have round, organic shapes, greatly reflecting the whole concept of the building and façade. These organic shapes were used to break away from the stereotypical rigidity and coldness of most office buildings, and create a sense of playfulness in the workplace. This vision was successfully realised and it can be seen from the harmonious balance between the inside and outside.

With the help of PT Archimetric and M Moser Associates, it is no doubt that the Avian Tower stands out among the Surabayan skyline, not only from its structure, but also from its unique playfulness that contributes to the shifting trend of workspace design.

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Chendra Cahyadi
Ivan Priatman