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SOM unveils design for Singapore's tallest skyscraper drawing inspiration from bamboo forests
Singapore Architecture News - Nov 01, 2022 - 12:45 3734 views
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has unveiled design for a 63-story tower in Singapore, which is set to be built as "one of Asia’s most sustainable skyscrapers and Singapore’s tallest skyscraper."
Called 8 Shenton Way, the 305-metre mixed-use skyscraper draws inspiration from bamboo forests, creating an indoor-outdoor vertical community with a mixed-use programing; public spaces, offices, retail, a hotel, and luxury residences.
Set to be built in the intersection of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Bay, the tower will be added to the historic Tanjong Pagar neighborhood, and will be part of the emerging Greater Southern Waterfront.
The tower, aiming to be "one of the most identifiable landmarks" on the skyline, is distinguished with a series of garden terraces that promote the lush tropical landscape from Shenton Way, Anson Road, and Maxwell Road into the sky.
Encompassing more than 148,000-square-meter floor space, the tower offers expansive public spaces, offices, retail, a hotel, and luxury residences offering unparalleled panoramic views south-facing of the South China Sea, the heritage district to the North, and proximity to the Tanjong Pagar district, known for its Michelin-recommended restaurants.
"8 Shenton Way will be the newest landmark on the Singapore skyline—a next generation tower for the city," said SOM Partner Mustafa Abadan.
"Designed specifically with the tropical climate of Singapore in mind, this building will be one of the first post-pandemic mixed-use towers in the world, with health and wellness as its primary design drivers. By seeking to achieve the city’s newest and most rigorous sustainability standards, our design will establish a new paradigm for resilient and elegant high-rise design in Singapore and beyond," Abadan added.
SOM's skyscraper takes nature and sustainability into the core of the design. Inspired by bamboo forests, several features are based on a biophilic principle that brings vertical elements found in nature.
The design team prefers to use materials - starting from the zero-waste manufacture of terracotta to the use of engineered bamboo - to reduce both embodied and operational carbon.
To achieve this, the design of the tower aims to targeting Building Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Certification—equivalent to a 55 per cent energy reduction compared to the benchmark.
The project is seeking the highest sustainability certification in the region.
"8 Shenton Way is the first project under the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore’s CBD Incentive Scheme with such a diversity of components, including retail, offices, SOHO style units, luxury residences, a hotel, and event space," said SOM.
"Gathering this wide variety of building functions within a tight urban footprint, 8 Shenton Way will be a highly efficient high-rise which optimizes its location in the heart of the city."
In construction, SOM will reuse part of the existing foundation and infrastructure onsite which will minimize material use and embodied carbon.
In addition to this, the facade of the tower will be made of energy-efficient glazing, while its concrete will integrate recyclable aggregates manufactured through a low-carbon process, by segregating waste and using Singapore Green Building Council-certified materials where possible.
"Emerging from the pandemic, this moment presents a rare and exciting opportunity for architects to explore new approaches to health-driven placemaking," said SOM Design Principal Nic Medrano.
"Singapore is an incredible canvas to do this, with its excellent quality of life, abundance of green space and diversity of cultures. Our design weaves together nature, heritage, connections to transit, luxury living, healthy workplaces, and lively public spaces into a thriving hub for the community," Medrano added.
Integrating public performance and events space with retail units into the project, another components such as seating, and bike racks are expected to activate the street.
The landscape design is extended from the street into the building to create a seamless green corridor and transition for pedestrians.
An open-air green space is placed on the second floor with restaurants to offer a room to gather, incorporating a biodiverse landscape with plants chosen specifically to attract birds and butterflies.
Public green space will cover more than 10,000 square meters area —exceeding the entire footprint of the site.
Natural materials, such as champagne-colored terracotta and bamboo along the walls of the sky gardens, inform the building façade, with curved edges. These curved edges also guide bay windows on nearly every floor, offering vast sightlines of the city and the sea.
Materials used in the lobby consists of wood, stone, and terracotta that finishes flank artwork and a reflecting pool, with a multi-floor atrium framing the space above.
Across all levels, there will be landscaped gardens, giving building occupants ample room for an outdoor escape in the sky. The design scheme consists of seven terraces altogether - one for the hotel floors and three for the residential levels.
Health and well-being become the main design principles that guide the design. Light air, natural ventilation and wellbeing are achieved through carved-out floors in every five to six floors.
The residential units are designed at the highest levels of the tower, to provide occupants the most impressive views.
While the design scheme incorporates a variety of post-pandemic features, prioritizing tenants’ health, other inputs like contactless technology, antimicrobial materials, enhanced natural air flow and filtration, adaptable interior spaces, and large, landscaped outdoor spaces are collectively offered to form a robust, healthier, wellness-focused spaces in the heart of the city.
"To encourage more sustainable modes of transit, the tower will connect to Singapore’s subterranean pedestrian network, including direct underground connectivity to the Tanjong Pagar Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, as well as two additional MRT stations within a five-minute walk: the Maxwell MRT Station, which will serve the Thomson-East Coast Line and is slated to commence service in November this year, and the Prince Edward MRT Station, which will close the loop between Harbourfront and Marina Bay MRT stations on the Circle Line in 2026," SOM explained.
"Bicycle and electric vehicle parking will also be provided," the firm continued.
The project is being developed by Perennial Holdings Private Limited and its consortium of investors.
While SOM is serving as architectural design consultant, Singapore-based architecture practice DCA Architects is serving as architect of 8 Shenton Way. The project is expected to be completed in 2028.
SOM is also designing a cloud-like user-controlled headquarters for technology company Alibaba in Shanghai. SOM completed a new mixed-use office tower, named 800 Fulton Market, in Chicago, United States.
All images © SOM | Bezier.
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