BIG And Carlo Ratti Associati Complete Biophilic CapitaSpring Skyscraper In Singapore
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Danish firm BIG and Italian architecture firm CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati have completed a 280-meter-tall skyscraper in the bustling Central Business District of Singapore.
Named CapitaSpring, the 51-storey mixed-use skyscraper makes a statement with its dynamic interplay of orthogonal lines, a series of lush spiraling gardens, lush greenery, contrasting textures, offering "a seamless transition between the garden and the city."
Encompassing a total of 93,000 square meters area, the program of the skyscraper consists of premium Grade A office space, a Citadines serviced residence, a hawker center, restaurants and public spaces as well as abundant sky-gardens and rooftop park.
The skyscraper was opened to use, following four years of construction for Asia’s leading real estate companies CapitaLand Development (CLD), CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and Mitsubishi Estate.
CapitaSpring is currently among the city’s tallest towers and was designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati -both firms collaborated to design its architecture, public space, and digital user experience.
Situated on the site of a former public car park and a hawker center, the skyscraper is added to Singapore's skyline as a new high-rise oasis that complements the city’s pioneering vertical urbanism.
"Vertical exploration of tropical urbanism"
"Our design seeks to continue Singapore's pioneering vertical urbanism with the 280m tall diverse neighborhood of places to work, live and play inside as well as outside," said Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
"Due to the unique character of Singapore’s urbanism – both extremely dense and green - we decided to make the design a vertical exploration of tropical urbanism."
"At grade, the street is closed to form a new linear park and public plaza. A vertical park in the middle of the tower forms a spiraling promenade ascending among tropical tree trunks and canopies."
"On top, an urban forest feeds all the restaurants and cafes in the building and allows visitors to enjoy the lushness of the summit," he continued.
"Capitaspring is like a vision of a future in which city and countryside, culture and nature can coexist, and urban landscapes can expand unrestricted into the vertical dimension," Ingels added.
The skyscraper provides multiple elevations, and its bold vertical elements comprising the building’s exterior are pulled apart to allow glimpses into the green oases blooming from the base, core, and rooftop “sky garden.”
Described as "a reinforcing element to Singapore’s reputation as a garden city", the skyscraper houses over 80,000 plants, "with a Green Plot Ratio of more than 1:1.4 – translating to a total landscaped area of more than 8,300 square meters (90,000 square feet), equivalent to 140% of its site area," explained BIG and CRA.
"A seamless transition between the garden and the city"
According to Brian Yang, Partner in Charge at BIG, the building "manifests as a seamless transition between the garden and the city."
"As someone with Singaporean heritage, I have been honored and humbled by the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing evolution of architecture in Singapore as a distinct blending between the contemporary and the tropical," said Brian Yang, Partner in Charge, Bjarke Ingels Group.
"In our design, this manifests as a seamless transition between the garden and the city, articulated in the facades and a series of lush spiraling gardens connecting between various programs and filled with amenities representing a spectrum of use," Yang added.
On the street level, the architects restore a portion of the historically significant Market Street to the public realm by pedestrianizing the stretch and create an expanded landscaped area.
Thanks to this linear park area and public space, the tower creates "a new green breathing space" in the high-density of Central Business District for the neighboring tenants and passersby.
This park area incorporates meandering garden paths that create natural entryways into the park area, called the City Room - which is an 18-meter-high generous open space at the foot of the tower.
This public space also creates shelter from the tropical sunlight and showers and welcomes tenants into separate lobbies for the offices and residences, as well as shoppers and diners into the food center within the tower’s podium.
The architects, respecting the historical past of the site, recreated the iconic Market Street Hawker Center at the building’s second and third floors with 56 food stalls – solidifying the location as the beating heart of the city’s culinary experience, and the role it plays in maintaining local culture and community.
"CapitaSpring leverages both technology and unprecedented integration with natural elements"
"When we first got invited to join the architectural competition, we saw a great opportunity to team up and join forces with BIG to achieve a uniquely bold result together," said Carlo Ratti, Founding Partner, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Director, MIT Senseable City Lab.
"It has been enriching to combine our approach with design and innovation with BIG's skill in architectural scale."
"As CapitaSpring is open to the public today, I am proud of how we enhanced the public spaces across the building, creating the best experience for all users, leveraging both technology and unprecedented integration with natural elements," Ratti added.
The first eight floors of the tower incorporate serviced residence including a wide range of facilities such as a swimming pool, jacuzzi, jogging track, gymnasium, social kitchen, residents’ lounge, and barbecue pits.
Premium office spaces offering panoramic views of the Singapore River and Marina Bay are placed on the top 29 floors.
At the core of the building between the hardscapes of the offices and residences, the team connects the four levels of the skyscraper with organic softscape, called the Green Oasis – a 35-metre open-air garden for work, casual strolls, relaxation, exercise, and events.
The Green Oasis is described as "seamlessly flowing nature component" that climbs vertically into the architecture and satisfies the spatial limitations of the locale.
The Green Oasis provides tenants and residents abundant access to green spaces – "animating the elegant smoothness of modern architecture with the ubiquitous tropical nature of the region."
For this area, the Green Oasis, the team mimics the plant hierarchy of tropical rainforests for the overall vertical softscape.
"The hierarchical leaf growth of the plants is in direct proportional relationship to light availability within the vegetation layers," BIG and CRA explained.
"Shade-tolerant plants with large leaves are found on the “rainforest floor,” requiring the least amount of direct light," the team added.
"Moving towards the canopy layer – the “roof” of the rainforest – trees are defined by their smaller leaf structure," the team continued.
Another distinguished character of the skyscraper is its rooftop garden, providing views of the city, and is home to Singapore’s tallest urban farm operated by 1-Group.
Currently, over 150 species of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, are grown across five thematic plots to supply the rooftop restaurants with fresh greens.
CapitaSpring has been accorded Green Mark Platinum & Universal Design GoldPLUS certifications by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
The building also has amenities in support of the sustainable transport vision in the Singapore Green Plan 2030, including 165 bicycle lots, fully equipped end-of-trip facilities and a 600-meter cycling path around the building’s perimeter along Malacca Street and along Phillip Street, which forms part of the Central Area cycling network connecting to Singapore’s larger cycling network.
Carlo Ratti Associati recently unveiled urban program and urban vision for the 14th edition of Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial, in the city of Prishtina, Kosovo. The firm completed The Greenary, a private residence built around a ten-meter-tall ficus tree, located at the center of the living space.
BIG designed a new zigzagging hotel for watchmaker brand Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus, Switzerland. BIG and Barcode Architects built a triangular housing block in Amsterdam's IJburg district in the Netherlands.
Project name: CapitaSpring
Size: 93,000 m2
Client: CapitaLand Development, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.
Collaborators: Carlo-Ratti Associati, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd, ARUP Singapore Pte Ltd , Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner (S.E.Asia) Pte Ltd, Arcadis Singapore Pte Ltd, COEN Design International Pte Ltd, Takenouchi Webb Pte Ltd, Nipek Pte Ltd, Asylum Creative Ptd Ltd, Jacobs International Consultants Pte Ltd, Ignesis Consultants Pte Ltd, PH Consulting Pte Ltd, TSM Consultancy Pte Ltd, Dragages Singapore Pte Ltd, Meinhardt Singapore Pte Ltd, Squire Mech Pte Ltd.
Partners-in-charge: Bjarke Ingels, Brian Yang
Project Leader: Gorka Calzada Medina, Martino Hutz, Song He
Project Manager: Eric Li, Günther Weber
BIG Sustainability: Tore Banke, Anders Holden Deleuran
BIG Landscape: Dina Brændstrup, Kirsty Badenoch, Ulla Hornsyld
Team: Aime Desert, Aleksander Wadas, Aleksandra Domian, Alessandro Zanini, Anke Kristina Schramm, Augusto Lavieri Zamperlini, Dalma Ujvari, David Schwarzman, David Vega y Rojo, Davide Tarditi, Dimitrie Grigorescu, Dominika Trybe, Elise Cauchard, Eriko Maekawa, Espen Vik, Ewa Szajda, Federica Locati, Filippo Lorenzi, Francisco Castellanos, Frederik Skou Jensen, Gabrielé Ubareviciute, Guoyu Liu, Helen Chen, Jacek Baczkowski, Jakub Wlodarczyk, Jonas Käckenmester, Julieta Muzzillo, Luca Pileri, Luis Torsten Wagenführer, Lukas Kerner, Malgorzata Mutkowska, Maria Teresa Fernandez Rojo, Matilde Tavanti, Moa Carlsson, Nataly Timotheou, Niu Jing, Orges Guga, Patrycja Lyszczyk, Pedro Savio jobim Pinheiro, Philip Rufus Knauf, Praewa Samachai, Qamelliah Nassir, Rahul Girish, Ramon Julio Muros Cortes, Rebecca Carrai, Roberto Fabbri, Samuel Rubio Sanchez, Shuhei Kamiya, Sofiia Rokmaniko, Sorcha Burke, Steen Kortbæk Svendsen, Szymon Kolecki, Teodor Fratila Cristian, Viktoria Millentrup, Vilius Linge, Vinish Sethi, Weijia Lu, Xin Su, Xinying Zhang, Zari van de Merwe, Zhen Tong.
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati Team:
Carlo Ratti, Monika Löve, Antonio Atripaldi, Gary di Silvio, Gianluca Zimbardi, Saverio Panata, Alberto Bottero, Chiara de Grandi, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Andrea Giordano, Damiano Gui, Mariachiara Mondini, Andrea Pedrina, Andrea Riva.
Consultants: dotdotdot – Alessandro Masserdotti, Fabrizio Pignoloni, Gabriele Gambotto.
All images © Finbarr Fallon.
All drawings © BIG & CRA.