B  L  O  C  K     8  1     T  I  O  N  G     B  A  H  R  U



Block 81 #02-65A Tiong Poh Road

Republic of Singapore 160081


Tel +65 9818 0725

Skype : poole-associates-singapore

e:mail :


For the 5th time, we are forced to relocate due to the wrecking ball. This space will be our last Studio: No. 6



Tiong Bahru Index


P  O  O  L  E     P  E  N  T  H  O  U  S  E     



Penthouse One - 37F, One Pearlbank,

Republic of Singapore 169019


Tel +65 9818 0725

Skype : poole-associates-singapore

e:mail :


The penthouse [our former residence and Studio No. 5] has been featured in so many fashion shoots, design articles, televisions shows, TV commercials and movies, that we have had to give it a special page. Our previous locations are shown below.



Poole Penthouse index | Demolition 2019



By Ed Poole  April 1999

Studio No. 4

studio4.jpg (65499 bytes)

Balancing the Yin and Yang

Our new studio space in a colonial garden. [photo above: before renovations] Diametrically opposed to the firms extensive investment in computer technology and skills development.

studio3.jpg (53020 bytes)


3 0 ' s   C O L O N I A L   B U N G A L O W

Once again, the wreckers ball strikes. The offices illustrated at Block 3, Upper Pickering Street (story below) and neighboring blocks 1, 2, 4 & 5 will be demolished soon. We are sorry to see this fantastic grouping of five 1950's tropical buildings being destroyed in the name of progress, especially at a time of economic downturn. Known as a favorite leaping location, as these were at one time the tallest buildings in Singapore: "Farewell my lovely suicide".

But, not to be deterred, our new offices for 1999 + Y2K will be located at Bungalow Three, Wee Nam Road. The addition of extensive natural gardens in a colonial setting will be a welcomed contrast and relief to our exhaustive learning sessions on the latest in interactive systems technology.

Poole Associates is now a 100% digital firm, which is facilitating a global expansion of our services.  We utilize the capabilities of PC based software: AutoCAD 2004 [3 networked workstations], 3dMax.v6.0 [1 networked station] Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1, Pagemaker 7.0, Freehand 5.0, Acrobat 5.0, Illustrator 8.0, Windows 2002 and Eudora Pro. [total 6 networked stations all with Pentium IV processors]

Poole Associates collaterals designed by Peter Fifield + Associates

The Library features a "Warhol" portrait of Chairman Mao updated in the 90's as a white on white color scheme. A collection of One Degree North coco-podiums fill a corner.

visit :    visit :




By Thio Lay Hoon : ID Magazine

Oct | Nov 1996

Studio No. 3

A typical systematic arrangement of workstations for Poole Associates open-plan office located in a 50's built previously residential block at Upper Pickering Street that still has much of its original architecture intact. The layout has been slightly altered to suit this office. Existing windows provide an abundant source of natural light which is essential for work in a design office. Although all wiring has to run exposed as required by regulations, it worked along with Ed's idea for the 'functional' look sans the glamour of extravagant and expensive materials. For textural interest, some of the partitions are paneled in mild-steel rusted with sea water. Much of the original details such as doors and windows, have been kept to preserve the retro character of the space. (The paintings by Willy Baet are samples for the murals in the Bizan lounge project in Djakarta).

Corridor leading from the main entrance. The 50's details of the place have been kept and these consequently give the office a warm, nostalgic character. Although a common finish, the cement floor was actually achieved after much pain and effort. Panels on the left, painted by Willy Baet, are for Bobby Rubino's at CHIJMES.

Project Team:
Ed Poole, Andrew Jones, Rey Tadifa, Willy Baet, Wong Kim Mei, Marie Bogart, Uday Kumar

Hanns Schlupp  |   Peter Mealin




A  S     G  O  O  D     A  S     N  E  W 

'The place was a disgusting pit; it had a huge amount of crap that had to be removed'. In spite of this, Ed Poole 'took it on the spot at first sight' - mainly because 'the rent was reasonable'. And then spent four days just to clear the space of fittings, carpeting and partitions left behind by the previous tenant. 'We were cutting glue off our shoes everyday with razor blades', says Ed, recounting what he and his team at Poole Associates went through to turn this 2,800 square foot space, located on the 7th floor of a 50's block in Upper Pickering Street, into the office and design studio that they wanted to work in. This is their third office location since the company's inception six years ago.

After all the junk was taken out in two lorry loads, there was still the glue that was underneath the previous carpeting to reckon with. 'No contractor was willing to do it. So for several days and nights, I was on my knees, with my head in a wet towel and my hands in rubber gloves, trying to scrub the glue off with kerosene,' says Ed. He succeeded with only a small floor area but the rest had to be re carpeted (with a suitable pattern and color) as the task proved too much to handle.

This office unit, like all the others in the building, occupies what was once the space of two apartments until about 10 years ago when URA converted the building into an office block. One entrance has been kept as the main door, while the other leads to the current configuration of a kitchen and pantry with adjoining studio where Ed Poole's commissioned murals are painted.

While all 'unsightly' remnants of the previous office occupants have been dutifully removed, Ed did not exactly indulge his own office with the sort of effect and extravagance that he heaps on his jobs either. Instead, he had chosen to keep and adapt to the retro features inherent in the original 'typical' space and turn their simple charm to his use and advantage.

For one, there are plenty of existing windows which are essential for a design studio. 'It's good to have natural light to work with; there's something to be said for light that's coming in from more than one direction. Not every space is alright to be used as an office; for us, shop houses are too dark and they don't have much flexibility for arranging work spaces'.

About two-thirds of the office is occupied by open plan workstations and ancillary areas for filing cabinets and equipment, while the other parts consist of discussion room dressed up as a cozy lounge complete with ambient lamps, and a kitchen, bathroom, and a small painter's studio. Given the 'uncertainty' of the lease, all the fittings are 'done to be salvaged', from the bookcases to the stainless steel kitchen sink and taps - they can easily be taken out and used elsewhere.

The office has been here almost a year now; everything was put together bit by bit, such as the sea-water treated mild steel panels that clad the partitions for the workstations. Ironically, all the effort that was put in to make it a desirable space to work in have made it look as if nothing much has been done to it, in terms of a conceptually eloquent design in the manner that some of Ed Poole's jobs can lay claim to. But yet, this office does have an unmistakable character to it which unfortunately, very few people would know how to appreciate and which is often ploughed over with a thick ply of gloss and slick.

To date, indefatigable Poole Associates has done well over 100 jobs that span a range of commercial, residential, retail and office spaces here (notably the Scoops Cafes and Spot on The Hub), as well as in Sydney and Djakarta; the most recent ones are four restaurants at CHIJMES, including the famed Bobby Rubino's and China Jump, and the massive Gothic-style Bizan lounge in Djakarta which is nearing completion. 'Not all the work we get come with interesting spaces, but we will always try to make them special', says Ed, citing as an example the Scandinavian Warehouse in Clementi that was completed last year. 'And we won't touch a project that we think has an inappropriate concept'.

A mini floating garden for the kitchen, are little reminders that the space originally functioned as a residence

A residential expression for the meeting room. The Charles Eames chairs, Ed Poole's personal favorite, took eight months to arrive; normally in black, the ones here have been specially 'updated' in luxurious white Edelman leather. The Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann Hydravion-Bergļæ½res sofa was also made in the States, from the original French drawings. Other classics include a Dessau coffee table, side tables by Eileen Gray, and Tizio lamps by Richard Sapper. A 136 year old mirror salvaged from a medical dispensary on China Street covers the entire wall behind the sofa.  


By Ed Poole  - 1994

Studio No. 2


S O U T H B R I D G E   R O A D   S H O P H O U S E  

In 1994 after Poole Associates was established in a rented bedroom at the upper level of Penthouse 6 Pearlbank Apartments, I was able to find this dilapidated shop house at 209 South Bridge Road, just opposite the mosque. We occupied the entire 3rd floor for approx 2.5 years.

The studio was located at the front, with a very unique situation perfect for our studio: natural light all along the side too, as the building sat on a corner, but the 'street' at the side was actually a plot of grass.

My residence was located in the back, just before the kitchen, which had a huge tree branch growing through the last window, so it could never be closed.

The foyer was decorated with old antique mirrors, which were collected from the Thieves Market, located just outside the rear door, along the Club Street car park alley. It was over this time period that I acquired the largest collection of old mirrors, in Singapore.

Access to the bedroom at the rear of the shop house, via the far end of the Entry foyer


The Studio foyer displaying a growing collection of antique mirrors




The studio at the front corner. Workstations by WorkGroup Systems, served us well for 25 years. They have been re-purposed, as we gave them away upon our leaving Pearlbank Apartments. It's this space were we started experimenting with the exterior finishes to the system furniture, to give a unique look.

Over time, we would clad workstations for our clients with rusted metal, back painted glass, mirror, suede, sisal, leather, fur, rubber, and lead sheeting.

The space was a bit problematic as water would drop onto the desks in different places, depending on the wind.







We were evicted from our second space in 1996, and the building was restored and used by a Government agency.

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