Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Interlace in Alexandra Road, Singapore by OMA/Ole Scheeren
April 8th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: OMA/Ole Scheeren
The Interlace in Singapore, a large-scale residential development by CapitaLand Singapore, has been chosen by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago as the winner of the inaugural worldwide Urban Habitat Award 2014 in recognition of its groundbreaking contributions to the urban realm and social sustainability.
Ole Scheeren’s design generates an extensive network of private and shared spaces in a radical reinterpretation of contemporary life in a community. Instead of following the default typology of housing in dense urban environments – clusters of isolated towers – the design turns vertical isolation into horizontal connectivity and reinstates the notion of community as a central issue in today’s society.
31 apartment blocks, each six stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement around eight generous courtyards. The interlocking blocks create a multitude of shared outdoor spaces, forming a dramatic topography of inhabitable terraced gardens across the stepped volumes. Partly resting, partly floating, the blocks hover on top of each other to form an expressive “interlaced” space that connects the individual apartments with accessible and inclusive community life.
“The Interlace opens a space of collective experience within the city and reunites the desire for individuality and privacy with a sense of togetherness and living in a community,” says architect Ole Scheeren. “Social interaction is integrated with the natural environment in a synthesis of tropical nature and habitable urban space. The design generates a multiplicity of qualities and choices for its inhabitants – a sense of richness and freedom in the choices you make.”
The 170,000m2 development by CapitaLand Singapore and Hotel Properties Limited, which was completed and handed over to residents in late 2013, provides 1,040 generous residential units of varying sizes that are reasonably priced for private housing. Sustainability features are incorporated throughout the project through careful environmental analysis and integration of low-impact passive energy strategies. A series of site specific environmental studies, including wind, solar, and daylight analysis, were carried out to determine intelligent strategies for the building envelope and landscape design. As a result, the project has been awarded the Universal Design Mark Platinum Award and Green Mark GoldPLUS Award from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.
The landscape design capitalizes on the generous size of the eight-hectare site and further maximizes the presence of nature. By stacking the apartment blocks, the design generates a multiplication of horizontal surfaces populated by extensive roof gardens and landscaped terraces that in aggregate provide 112% green area – more than the size of the unbuilt site.
The Urban Habitat Award recognizes The Interlace’s significant contributions to the urban realm; its exemplary integration with its surrounding environment; and its ability to add to the social sustainability of its immediate and wider context, environmentally, socially, and culturally.
The Interlace adds to Ole Scheeren’s international portfolio of city-defining structures and cultural projects, with his current projects at Buro Ole Scheeren including an art center near the Forbidden City in Beijing; Angkasa Raya, a 268 meter tall building of floating rectangular volumes in the heart of Kuala Lumpur; DUO, a large-scale mixed-use development currently under construction in Singapore; and Mahanakhon, currently rising to become Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper.
Ole Scheeren Principal, Buro Ole Scheeren
Ole Scheeren is a German architect and principal of Büro Ole Scheeren with offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. Educated at the universities of Karlsruhe and Lausanne, he graduated from the Architectural Association in London and was awarded the RIBA Silver Medal.
At Büro-OS, Ole Scheeren is working on Angkasa Raya, a 268 meter tall landmark building in the center of Kuala Lumpur; the large-scale urban development DUO in Singapore; MahaNakhon, a 310-meter mixed-use tower in the city of Bangkok; a studio/gallery building for a Beijing-based artist; and the new headquarters for China’s oldest art auction house in Beijing. The design for the future media campus of Axel Springer SE, one of Germany’s most influential and dynamic media enterprises, has recently been awarded with a first prize in an international competiton.
Prior to launching Büro Ole Scheeren in March 2010, Scheeren was Director and Partner along with Rem Koolhaas at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, and responsible for the office’s work across Asia. As partner-in-charge and the architect responsible for one of the largest buildings in the world, he successfully led the design and realization of the China Central Television Station CCTV and the Television Cultural Centre TVCC in Beijing. Other projects include The Interlace, a 1040-unit large-scale residential complex in Singapore (completed); The Scotts Tower, featuring high-end apartments in Singapore; a media center in Shanghai; a project for Shenzhen’s new city center; as well as the Taipei Performing Arts Center in Taiwan (under construction).
He directed OMA’s work for Prada and completed the Prada Epicenters in New York (2001) and Los Angeles (2004). He also led numerous other projects including the Beijing Books Building, the Leeum Cultural Center in Seoul (2006) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Through Studio Ole Scheeren, he is exploring his more personal interest in non-architectural projects and interventions, such as Archipelago Cinema, a floating auditorium first conceived in the Andaman Sea of Thailand for the Film On The Rocks Yao Noi Festival and then installed at the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Recently, he developed The Mirage City Cinema, a cinema architecture space commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation as part of the Sharjah Biennial 11 Film Programme curated by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Ole Scheeren has contributed to various arts and culture projects and exhibitions throughout his career, including Triennials in Beijing and Milan, China Design Now in London, the exhibition Cities on the Move at London’s Hayward Gallery and in the city of Bangkok, Media City Seoul and the Rotterdam Film Festival. For the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) he designed two exhibitions in New York and Beijing featuring the CCTV project.
He regularly lectures at various international institutions and conferences and serves on juries for awards and competitions. He is visiting professor at Hong Kong University.
Contact OMA/Ole Scheeren