The South Beach development covers an entire city block between the Marina and Civic District in the heart of downtown Singapore. Combining new construction with the restoration of existing buildings, the mixed-use, energy efficient new urban quarter brings together places to live and work with shops, cafes, restaurants, a hotel and public spaces. A wide landscaped pedestrian avenue – a green spine – weaves through the site and is protected by a large canopy, which shelters the light-filled public spaces beneath from the extremes of the tropical climate.
Two interconnected pairs of towers stand towards the north and south of the site, connected by the green spine – the south towers are divided between a hotel and apartments, while the north towers contain offices. Their facades extend into a gentle arc, which continues the language of the undulating canopy below – they are angled to capture prevailing winds and direct air flow to cool the ground level spaces. At a lower level, the treatment of the perimeter buildings is sensitive to the scale of the nineteenth century Raffles Hotel on the opposite side of the street – the four adjacent former military buildings along Beach Road have been carefully restored and are interspersed with mature trees, which have been conserved on the site.
Reinterpreting the Singaporean ideal of the ‘city in a garden’ in a high-rise form, the towers are intersected by densely planted sky gardens with impressive views of the city and Central Business District
The canopy’s ribbons of steel and aluminium louvres flex above the primary circulation routes and public spaces, and dip near the edges to meet the Beach Road buildings. The ribbons are supported by slender pillars and rise up the exposed east and west elevations of the towers to form a series of vertical louvres, which are carefully angled to encourage natural ventilation. The entrance to the canopy rises up to form an arc, which acts as a wind scoop, drawing the prevailing breezes through the space and promoting natural ventilation. Beneath the canopy are a series of smaller buildings and flexible spaces for functions and events. Combining rainwater harvesting with a range of environmental strategies, the development aims to achieve the Green Mark ‘Platinum’ Rating. Creating a highly permeable pedestrian public realm, vehicle access to underground parking and drop off points are placed around the edges of the site, and public transport is integrated via a direct ‘green’ link to Esplanade MRT station.
A series of intermediate Sky Gardens ascend both towers serving as break out spaces for the Offices, and Club facilities for the Residences and Hotel.
Extended vertical and horizontal louvers are prevalent on the North and South Facades to cut out the harsh tropical sun. A continuous louvered screen covers the East and West Facades. The louvers act both as sun shade as well as planters, allowing green to ascend the tower. The spaces behind the screens become system of planters, balconies and terraces that respond to the internal functions.
A large environmental canopy enveloping much of the 34,950sm site hovers over these different elements, stitching them together. This canopy mediates the harsh tropical climate, keeping out rain and direct sunlight while allowing wind to flow through the site.
Architect: Foster + Partners
Programme: Two 45 storey towers comprising of office, hotel, residences interspersed with a series of low lying podium buildings. The site also houses a row of four buildings to be conserved and regenerated.
Construction Start: 2011
Projected Completion: 2016
Site Area: 34,946m²
Gross Area: 146,800m²
Area (Net): Office 58,700m² 5* Hotel 44,050m² Residential 29,300m² Retail 14,750 m²
Number of Floors: 45
Number of apartments: 109
Collaborating Architect AEDAS PTE Ltd
Structural Engineer Arup Singapore PTE Ltd
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers Parsons Brinckerhoff PTE Ltd
Quantity Surveyor Davis Langdon + Seah Singapore Pte Ltd
Lighting Consultant Lightcibles PTE Ltd
Fire Consultant Ignesis Consultants PTE Ltd
Landscape Consultant ICN Design International
Sustainability Analysis OVE ARUP + Partners Hong Kong Ltd
Wind Consultant BMT Fluid Mechanics
Transport and Infrastructure MVA Consultants PTE Ltd Consultant
Security Consultant STET Homeland Security Survicos PTE Ltd
Acoustic Consultant Acviron Acoustics Consultants Pte Ltd
Façade Engineering Consultant Arup Singapore PTE Ltd
Architectural Conservation Studio Lapis
Project Details and images via Foster + Partners