by AFP/ pic by BLOOMBERG
SINGAPORE – Electric appliance pioneer Dyson said Friday its new global headquarters will be in a sprawling, colonial-era Singapore building originally constructed as a power station and until recently used as a nightlife complex.
British inventor James Dyson’s company, famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners, announced this year it was shifting its headquarters from England to the city-state to be closer to Asian markets.
The move prompted fury that the tycoon was not investing more in British manufacturing after vocally supporting the country’s exit from the European Union.
Announcing the latest stage of the move, Dyson said it had picked the former St. James Power Station for its headquarters.
The red-brick building was constructed in 1927 during British colonial rule as Singapore’s first coal power plant, and has been designated as a national monument.
After it was decommissioned, it was used first as a warehouse and until last year as an entertainment complex, housing clubs and restaurants.
Dyson will move into the site in 2021, once the 110,000 square foot (10,200 square metre) building is renovated.
“The historic St. James Power Station will be a most inspiring backdrop for Dyson’s people,” said Dyson CEO Jim Rowan, adding that the company has outgrown its current site in the city-state after 12 years.
“It will be a hive for our research and development endeavours, as we focus on great technology breakthroughs.”
Since announcing his move to Singapore, Dyson has made headlines by going on a property-buying spree, snapping up the city-state’s biggest, most expensive apartment and a luxury house complete with an indoor waterfall.
But last month the company abandoned plans to produce electric cars, saying the project was not commercially viable. Its first vehicle plant was to be located in Singapore.