UNStudio began work in Singapore with the Ardmore Residence back in 2006 and since then has continued to design projects for the city. Below are photos and short descriptions detailing the driving design concepts behind each of these buildings.
V on Shenton
The first, and most recently completed project is V on Shenton. V on Shenton is located at 5 Shenton Way in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District and occupies the space of the former UIC Building.
Singapore is currently one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Although land reclamation has boosted the island’s size over the years, Singapore still faces significant density challenges.
Vertical expansion has for some time proved to be a solution for the efficient use of valuable urban land. However, it has recently become clear that such expansion can be further maximised through the introduction of large scale, holistic, mixed-use developments that offer round-the-clock programmes. In these developments working, living and leisure activities are catered for within single plots, ensuring maximal use of scarce land. V on Shenton is just such a development.
The dual programming of the building (office and residential) is a unique situation in this area and thus the massing of the towers is differentiated to reflect this. In addition to the office and residential programmes, the towers house sky gardens which provide panoramic 360 degree views of Singapore and house a variety of amenities, such as a fitness area, swimming pools and a children’s play area, with lush green vegetation providing fresher, cleaner air. These areas provide spaces for shared communal activities, or for the residents to entertain guests.
On ground level, next to the office tower lobby, a large café forms the central meeting point for the public areas.
A family of patterns
Just as the office and residential towers are of the same family of forms, so do their facades originate from the same family of patterns. The basic shape of the hexagon is used to create patterns that increase the performance of the facades with angles and shading devices that are responsive to the climatic conditions of Singapore.
The office tower is based on a curtain wall module and an optimised number of panel types, recombined to create a signature pattern.
In contrast, the residential facade is based on the stacks of unit types. The pattern of the residential facade is created by the incorporation of the residential programme (balcony, bay window, planter and a/c ledge) and the combination of one and two storey high modules with systematic material variations. These geometric panels add texture and cohesion to the building, whilst reflecting light and pocketing shade.
The Scotts Tower
The recently completed Scotts Tower residential building at 38 Scotts Road is situated on a prime location in Singapore, with views encompassing both nearby parkland and the panoramic cityscape of Singapore.
The 18,500m2, 31-storey, 231-unit tower consists of 1 to 3-bedroom apartments and 4-bedroom penthouses, along with expansive landscaped gardens, sky terraces, penthouse roof gardens and a variety of recreational facilities.
Vertical City & Home
The design concept of The Scotts Tower is that of a vertical city incorporating a variety of residence types and scales. The tower is divided into four different residential clusters, denoted as ‘neighbourhoods’. Within each of these neighbourhoods, individual identity is given to each unit by means of type, scale, distribution and articulation of outdoor space and the possibility for personalisation of the interior layout. Terraces unique to each unit type further enhance the personalised feel.
The vertical city concept along with the green areas are bound together by two gestures: the ‘vertical frame’ and the ‘sky frames.’ The vertical frame organises the tower in an urban manner. It unites the tower into one ‘vertical city’, but also provides clear distinctions between the four residential clusters, providing the neighbourhood effect.
The sky frame – at the lobby (level 1 and 2) and sky terrace (level 25) – organise the amenity spaces and green areas of the tower and provide areas with panoramic views. The communal nature of these spaces also encourages interaction among users, enhancing the neighbourhood concept.
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Our third project is the campus for the Singapore University of Technology and Design, located at 8 Somapah Road.
With this campus we wanted to emphasise interactivity and connection by finding ways to bring people together in shared spaces. To this end, faculties within the SUTD campus are not housed within individual buildings, but distributed and overlapped through various connecting blocks. These help to amplify moments of interaction between disciplines. With boundaries blurred, the campus architecture becomes an incubator for communication, creativity and innovation.
Environmental sustainability was also built into the design for the SUTD academic campus. Building geometries carve a wind corridor for ideal wind flow through outdoor gathering spaces and tree shaded walkways also serve as the external circulation route around SUTD to encourage a walkable, low carbon campus. During the design phase, solar analysis and daylighting simulation tools were employed to control temperatures and account for Singapore’s tropical climate.
“The design for the SUTD consciously avoids over-articulation and instead focusses on infrastructural qualities, on connectivity and the creation of an open, transparent and light facility that responds to the requirements of the contemporary campus”
The Ardmore Residence is located at 7 Ardmore Park, near the Orchard Road retail district.
No longer do only mass replicated tower blocks dot the skyline of most Asian cities, a new generation of bespoke towers now provide aesthetic, singular silhouettes and incorporate comfortable living spaces, attractive landscaped gardens, and an array of amenities for residents.
The primary concept for the design of the 36 storey, 17.178 m² residential tower is a multi-layered architectural response to the natural landscape inherent to the ‘Garden City’ of Singapore. This landscape concept is integrated into the design by the articulation of the facade which mimics organic plant and animal structures, by the prevalence of expansive views across the city, and by using an open framework to introduce transparency and connectivity to the ground level gardens.
The facade of the Ardmore Residence is derived from micro-design features which interweave structural elements, such as bay windows and balconies into one continuous line. Rounded glass creates column-free corners, visually merging the internal spaces with the external balconies. Intertwining lines and surfaces wrap the apartments, seamlessly incorporating sun screening while also ensuring that the inner qualities of the apartments and the outer appearance of the building together form a unified whole.
Article courtesy of UNStudio