Trehaus: Two parts preschool, one part co-working

Kim: If you ask me what kind of business Trehaus is, I would say it’s an education business, first and foremost. (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Placing a co-working space inside a preschool is certainly uncommon but the people behind Trehaus at Funan Mall say their space might be the thing to win over busy parents and their kids.
Occupying 12,000 sq ft in Funan Mall on North Bridge Road, Trehaus – which opened this August – is perhaps one of the first co-working spaces to cater to working parents. The new space comes three years after co-founders Dr Elaine Kim, Tjin Lee and Elizabeth Wu set up their “proof of concept” in Claymore Connect on Orchard Road after receiving $500,000 in seed funding from investors.
The co-founders admit that creating such a family friendly space was conceived mostly through trial and error. Despite the tireless observations and endless tweaking to the work spaces, almost two thirds of the new space are set aside for children. Kim says the idea came to her while working at Claymore Connect where “she was running the kids’ creche at that space and saw what they enjoyed doing.”
“We saw how much the children like to run around, and what excited them at different ages,” she explains.
At Trehaus, almost two thirds of the space are set aside for the children (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)

Treading the fine line

At the new location, a dedicated sound-proof studio was carved out to separate working parents and their children. “We have a studio where, if they really need to shout and jump, they can,” she says.
The office suites are tucked at the opposite end, just beyond the reception area. In the work zone, there are phone booths, a hotdesking space and four other private office suites. For a less formal working area, parents can also work from the in-house cafe. The pantry acts as the segue between the office spaces and the kids’ area, with a dividing glass wall that allows parents to glance and keep...