Dive into office pool on the roof

Dive into office pool on the roof


When research consultant Danny Lai wants to take a dip after work, he doesn’t head to the nearest public pool or beach.


Instead Mr Lai, 38, an associate director, takes the lift from his office on the second floor up six levels and steps out directly to his company’s private lap pool.


His company, Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants, at trendy Mohd Sultan Road in the River Valley area, is one of the few offices here with a pool on the premises. Healthy lifestyle product company Osim also has one at its headquarters in Ubi.


Acorn’s pool is part of a 10-storey glass annex attached to its premises of two shophouses – and it is quite a water feature. Part of the 1.2m-deep pool has a glass bottom, so workers all the way from the second floor up can look up and see who is making a splash.


Mr Lai and some of his colleagues enjoy lounging in the 11.5m long by 3.3m wide lap pool after finishing their evening fitness runs around the area. ‘This happens usually once a fortnight,’ he says.


Colleague Ilona Loo, 28, a field manager, comes with her own group and says: ‘We come here for a late night swim after work, as public pools are usually closed by then.’


On whether they feel shy stripping to their swimsuits in front of colleagues, both shrug it off.


‘It doesn’t feel weird,’ says Ms Loo.


The pool, which looks onto the condominiums and offices at River Valley, is open to all 30 employees at Acorn. There are also shower facilities in the toilets for swimmers.


Mr Lai says clients are also invited to bring along their swimsuits and towels when they come for meetings. But no clients have taken up the offer.


‘Perhaps they worry about their bosses asking about their wet hair,’ he chuckles.


The pool costs about $200 a month to maintain. The annex it is in was built in 2005 at a cost of more than $6 million.


It’s at the back of two three-storey conservation shophouses which Acorn bought in 2004 for also more than $6 million.


Of the pool, Mr Kwan Chong Wah, 53, Acorn’s group director, says: ‘It’s something nice to have.’


The frequent flier, who travels around the region, has not had the chance to enjoy it, though.


Acorn’s new office was designed by local firms CP Lee & Partners and Strategic Design International. It previously rented office space in River Valley Road and Stevens Road.


Under conservation rules, the shophouses’ facade had to be kept, but a new annex could be built at the back. Strategic Design International’s principal architect Philip Lee, 48, chose to use lots of glass to allow in plenty of light.


On the glass-bottomed pool, he says: ‘It is a bold idea as this has not been done in an office building before.’


Source: Straits Times

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