It seems like another day and another new starchitect project is unveiled in Singapore. Here are 5 major ones to revisit, and a few upcoming ones to look forward to.
ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM: MOSHE SAFDIE
Seemingly floating on the edge of Marina Bay, in the shadow of the giant triple towers of the Marina Bay Sands resort, is the curiously-shaped building (above) cleverly made up of overlapping spheroids, resembling a giant blossoming lotus flower.
Each petal of the “flower”, designed by the Israeli maestro, is a gallery space while the glass tips let in natural light. Inside, the white curvilinear space wraps around a central air-well that floods the gallery spaces with light. The natural theme of the design is echoed in a lily pond at the base that collects and recycles rainwater. marinabaysands.com
THE INTERLACE: OLE SCHEEREN
Ole Scheeren’s design of private condominium, The Interlace (above), is just as eye-catching as his famed CCTV Headquarters in Beijing. The German architect could have simply designed several skyscrapers rising above the greenery of the Southern Ridges. Instead, inspired perhaps by Jenga blocks, he tipped 31 low-rise towers on their sides and stacked them into an interlocking system rising 18 storeys.
From street level, the result is a stunning, futuristic complex of white grids and dark grey tinted windows. The greatest visual trick, however, is only visible from the air. Here, it finally becomes clear that the apparently random stacking of the buildings, in fact, creates a hexagonal, beehive-like pattern. theinterlace.com
SUPREME COURT: LORD NORMAN FOSTER
Having already built the awesome Reichstag in Berlin and the soaring Great Court for the British Museum, Foster was the ideal choice to design a building worthy to represent Singapore’s supreme judicial seat.
From any angle, the British architect’s design makes a grand statement. Holding civil courts, criminal courts, appeal courts, an auditorium, a library and a public restaurant, the building (above) is hollowed out with an imposing central atrium that filters natural light through the various floors. At the top, a dramatic two-storey disc houses the Courts of Appeal, symbolising its status as the country’s highest court. www.supremecourt.gov.sg
BIOPOLIS: ZAHA HADID
Hadid’s master plan for Biopolis – a sprawling centre for biomedical science research, development, manufacturing and healthcare in Buona Vista – sparks with energy while retaining the Iraqi-born architect’s trademark ebbs and flows that mould themselves across the terrain. The buildings are positioned to catch natural cross-ventilation from wind tunnels and walkways stretch across them. Daylight streams into office spaces, while public areas (above) like courtyards are capped with tree canopies. Other green spaces include open terraces and sky gardens. 31 Biopolis Way
REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY: DANIEL LIEBSKIND
It’s safe to say that, architecture-wise, there are few buildings in Singapore that can match the Polish-American architect’s masterpiece. Seen at a distance from Telok Blangah or the Henderson Waves bridge, the unusual, surreal silhouettes of the six silvery grey condominium towers (above) of alternating heights twist up above the forest green like shattered, post-apocalyptic skyscrapers.
Up close, however, framed by the glimmering waters of Keppel Bay, the towers bear all the hallmarks of the architect’s love for asymmetry and odd angles as the buildings assume a softer aspect, bending and twisting gracefully like a stand of willows. reflectionsatkeppelbay.com.sg
IN THE WORKS…
Jewel Changi Airport: Moshe Safdie
When completed at the end of 2018, Safdie’s S$1.7 billion futuristic glass and steel dome will connect Changi Airport’s Terminals 1, 2 and 3 via a massive 134,000 sq m retail and lifestyle complex. The centrepiece of the project will be a 40m-high waterfall within a lush indoor garden. jewelchangiairport.com
South Beach: Lord Norman Foster
Foster’s bold design for this project at Beach Road blends four heritage buildings with two new undulating towers anchored by a state-of-the-art environmental canopy. Slated to fully open by the end of 2015, it will house offices, residences, retail spaces and a hotel conceptualised by Philippe Starck. southbeach-sb.com
PHOTOS JONATHAN CHIANG COURTESY URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY / IWAN BAAN (THE INTERLACE BY OMA/OLE SCHEEREN) / JTC CORPORATION / INMAGINE / KEPPEL BAY PTE LTD /AUTUMN DE WILDE
This story first appeared in Silver Kris
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