In late 2018, Handhome went to Singapore to visit and photograph renown buildings designed by Ole Scheeren, Paul Rudolph, Thomas Heatherwick and UNStudio.
1. The Interlace.
Singaporean apartment complex “The Interlace” is designed by Ole Scheeren. The development made up of 31 apartment blocks, each six storeys tall, comprises an extensive and integrated network of private and communal spaces. Rather than clusters of isolated towers, the scheme reinterprets ideas behind contemporary living, with horizontally connected volumes establishing a better connected and less isolated residential environment.
Stacked in a honeycomb (hexagonal) arrangement, the units are articulated around eight generously proportioned courtyards forming a unified topography where terraced gardens are positioned across the stepped volumes. Multi-story openings allow light and air to weave into and through the landscape.
Image: Trieu Chien
The 170,000 square meter project provides 1,040 residential units that are both spacious and reasonably priced. A variety of public amenities are also interwoven into the landscape, offering numerous opportunities for social interaction and shared activities within the natural environment. The project was crowned World Building of the Year at World Architecture Festival (WAF) in 2015.
2. DUO Twin Tower
DUO Twin Towers is a pair of sculptural towers designed by Büro Ole Scheeren. The project comprises of a series of circular urban spaces – including open-air gardens, walkways, cafés, restaurants, offices and residences. The towers’ curved façades feature a honeycomb shading system.
DUO represents a historic collaboration between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. Under guidance of both Prime Ministers, their joint-venture development embodies a new era of cooperation between the two Southeast Asian nations. The twin towers also turns a previously neglected neighborhood into a lively center for social interaction.
The honeycomb comprises a series of hexagonal sunshades that help protect the towers from the heat and glare of the sun, without interrupting the views out over the gardens, oceans and skyline.
The two towers contain the project’s main functional elements: One tower accommodates 660 residences, while the other contains corporate offices and a five-star hotel operated by Andaz. the structures dematerialize as they reach the ground, opening out into a public landscape where a sequence of gardens and walkways weave around commercial spaces.
3. Facebook office in Singapore
In Singapore, Handhome had the chance to visit a branch office of Facebook. Located in the Marina One Tower, this space takes up around 24.150m2, this is one of the seven Facebook offices all over the world. These centres are basically where business partners and visitors can explore Facebook’s one-of-a-kind culture.
The Fountain, a digital installation consisting of five interactive screens, is situated at the entrance of the partner centre, where users can select an emoji, swipe upwards, and watch it bounce around in the Fountain screens.
A giant Instagram wall can be found in the partner centre, and it shows live updates on Instagram and Instagram stories. Facebook said that by interacting with this installation, they hope viewers will feel inspired to create more contents on social media.
Posters designed and printed by Facebook employees themselves are pasted all over the walls to give them a pop of colour. Besides livening up the place, the posters also encourage creativity.
4. Nanyang Technological University – Learning Hub
The Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), designed by Heatherwick Studio and executed by lead architect CPG Consultants, is an educational landmark for Singapore. As part of NTU’s redevelopment plan for the campus, the Learning Hub is designed to be a multi-use building for its 33,000 students.
Instead of the traditional format of an educational building with miles of corridors linking box-like lecture rooms, the university asked for a unique design better suited to contemporary ways of learning and combined it with modern aesthetics.
The result is a structure that interweaves both social and learning spaces to create a dynamic environment more conducive to casual and incidental interaction between students and professors. Twelve towers, each a stack of rounded tutorial rooms, taper inwards at their base around a generous public central atrium to provide fifty-six tutorial rooms without corners or obvious fronts or backs.
5. V on Shenton
“V on Shenton”, formerly known as the UIC building and designed by UNStudio, is one of the tallest building in Singapore, a signifier of the business and architectural strength of Singapore. The building aims to provide a large scale, holistic, mixed-use development that offers round-the-clock programmes.
V on Shenton is located at no. 5 Shenton Way, a dense urban environment, in an effort to combat Singapore’s density problems and scarcity of land. The building includes working, living and leisure activities on one single plot to maximize the valuable urban land. In addition, a series of sky gardens play an integral part in developing the sustainable lifestyle. These lush green spaces provide a refuge from the city and the climate and vegetation naturally provide fresher, cleaner air.
6. The Concourse Building
The Concourse Building is one of the renown architectural works of Paul Rudolph in Asia. It is a mixed-use skyscraper with commercial (shopping center, recreational facilities) and residential (apartments) uses.
The special architecture of the Concourse is based on tropical climate conditions such as levels of light, heat and humidity. The skyscraper uses solar shading and communal gardens and external balconies to address the climate and exploit the lush vegetation.
The building is octagonal in plan as the number “8” is a lucky number in Chinese culture. It is supported by 12 huge pilotis on the first five stories that elevate the building. Interlocking clusters are stacked vertically one above the other, rotating around the building and creating tapering reception lobbies that enjoy clerestory natural lighting.
7. Scotts Tower
The Scotts Tower is conceived as a framework for a vertical city, it features residential clusters, landscaped gardens, sky terraces, roof gardens and recreational facilities. Instead of the more usual means of planning a city horizontally, the architects from UNStudio have created neighborhoods in the sky, a vertical city where each zone has its own distinct identity.
The tower is located at a prime Singapore location on 38 Scotts Road and also benefits from impressive views across nearby parkland and the skyline of Singapore. Within each cluster, or “neighborhood”, the varying types of residences are designed to be identifiable by the scale, distribution and articulation of outdoor space.
Projects such as “V on Shenton” and “Scotts Tower” have successfully envisioned how cities can grow vertically while still including recreational space and green areas, representing the architectural strength of Singapore.
8. Colonnade Condominiums
The climate of Singapore sustains the most beautiful landscapes and greenery, thus the views from the large apartment windows are some of the most beautiful in the world. One of such prominent buildings is The Colonnade Condominiums, designed by Paul Rudolph.
This massive structure consists of four rectangular quadrants, each bound by substantial room for vertical and horizontal circulation. Movement under the tower is encouraged, as the units are lifted off of the ground on a series of columns, hence the name of the condominiums.
These columns lift the bases of the four quadrants at different heights, shifting floor planes are a common theme within the works of Paul Rudolph
The precedent of this layout is Le Corbusier’s Pavilion de I’Espirit Nouveau, the staggering of vertical heights and the lofting of bedrooms over the public areas create wonderful views and gathering spaces down below.