Into The Atelier: MotherChuckers

Carefree, spirited and colourful, with a hint of old school retro.
Photo: Courtesy of Cosentino. By David Yeow Photography

More and more creatives are drawn to a non-conventional atelier and MotherQuarters opt for a suburbia- mall-meets-mid-century-homes space, with 1990s American lifestyle on the mood board. For the uninitiated, MotherQuarters is a workspace for the team behind the Chucks and MotherChuckers team, lead by none other than Jane Chuck—one of the trailblazers in the local fashion scene. “We were drawn by the brand’s vision that encapsulates a vibrant yet nostalgic spirit,” Jun Ong shares, as part of the lead designer team from POW Ideas. Located in APW Bangsar, short for A Place Where, the designer disclosed that the initial plan laid out was to have an office with a warehouse. However, the team figured it would be too good to miss to go without a showroom, given the exponential foot traffic. “We proposed to redefine the brief given to us and add a showroom as part of the entrance to the office. The showroom was designed not just for visitors but also for Jane and her team to work on visual merchandising along with producing content for their products,” Ong explains.

Known for their skincare and outdoor-friendly leisurewear, what comes right to our minds when we speak about MotherChuckers are: carefree, spirited and colourful, with a hint of old-school retro. The POW ideas
team captured the essence and reflect them coherently into the atelier. For example, the centrepiece of the space is an oval-shaped mosaic-tiled counter with a water fountain—the “fountain of youth”, as Ong puts it. “Jane requested a vanity counter and sink for the space and we thought it would be fun to make that the main attraction. The idea of creating a multi-functional island came immediately, serving as a vanity counter, display shelving and a planter, all anchored around the water fountain is something you’d also find in a suburban mall,” he walks us through the creative process. Amid the vim and vigour, sat an all-white fountain. Ong explains that the inverse choice of colour was meant to create a split between the workspace and the showroom. While they wish to create an inviting work environment, the team looked into injecting a sense of refinement and sleekness into the showroom with the stark white.

“Pre-construction—coming up with a design—took about two months in total but it was spread out during the lockdown phase and renovation took about two months,” Ong remembers. Despite that, the saying “little details make the biggest difference” translates well into the atelier design. We couldn’t help but notice how most of the furnishings such as the lights, couches, work tables, and also the wardrobes had no angular sides. “It’s intentional to create a contrast between the hard edges of the existing industrial architecture of APW that envelops it,” Ong shares. Not forgetting practicality, the design team went on with curtains as partitions instead of walls that heightens the flexibility of the space to cater to
different occasions while also doubling as a voice absorber. The custom workstations arranged in U-shape are not only modular but also cleverly merged with the pantry, disguised as a breakfast nook. “The pantry is my personal favourite. It’s understated yet feels like a part of a regular home. Also, great ideas always happen over breakfast!” Ong says.

As a designer himself, Ong confesses that an atelier, especially its flow and spatial planning affects not just the creative process but also the path of making it happen. “It’s a balance of creating a neutral space yet projecting an identity. Our own studio is based in APW too, and we have been working on redefining the sentiment of the “industrial” and programming for APW for years. It’s refreshing to see how merging retail and office like MotherQuarters can fit harmoniously within one of the warehouses at APW.”