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Works of Wonder
Zaha Hadid Architects
RESIDENTS at d'Leedon must be patting themselves on the back for buying a unit here. Afterall, their condominium has been winning rave reviews for its distinctive curvy architectural form. Its latest prize is the International Architecture Award, given by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The 1,715-unit CapitaLand project was designed by award-winning firm Zaha Hadid Architects.
The orientation and placement of the seven blocks, which are each 36-storeys tall, are optimised based on environmental considerations.
Each block's petal-shaped floor plan allows for windows on three sides of every apartment and natural ventilation in all kitchens and bathrooms.
Residents also get unobstructed views of the skyline and the lush greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
As the blocks gently taper inwards as they merge with the ground, they occupy only 22 per cent of the site, freeing up land dedicated to landscape and lifestyle facilities, including thematic pocket gardens, and a giant maze.
Oasia Hotel Downtown
OASIA Hotel Downtown is outstanding, in every sense of the word.
Regardless of the time of the day, it glows like a lantern, with its colourful exterior which is a mix of red, orange, pink and maroon aluminium mesh panels, compared to its ubiquitous glass-clad neighbours.
As with its other projects, architecture firm WOHA introduced plenty of green to this building.
For the record, even though the hotel sits on a tight plot area of about 50m by 50m, there is now 10 times more greenery than previously.
Landscaping is used extensively as an architectural surface treatment and forms a major part of the development's material palette both internally and externally. It is conceived as a haven for birds and animals, to reintroduce biodiversity into the city.
Hence, there is a sky garden on different levels of the building. Each of them is treated as an urban scale verandah, sheltered at high level by the preceding sky garden and open sided for formal and visual transparency.
The openness also allows breeze to pass through the building for good cross-ventilation. In this way, the public areas become functional, comfortable, tropical spaces with greenery, natural light and fresh air instead of enclosed, internalised air conditioned spaces.
The Future of Us Pavilion
Advanced Architecture Laboratory,
Singapore University of Technology and Design
IF YOU were one of the over 400,000 people who saw The Future of Us exhibition, which ran from December 2015 to March 2016 at Gardens by the Bay, you would have had a glimpse of what Singapore will look like in the year 2030. For the layman, the future looks exciting.
But for the architecture folks, it was the pavilion where the exhibition was held that was of greater interest.
Director of Advanced Architecture Laboratory Thomas Schroepfer, who headed the design team, says that the pavilion follows the grand tradition of expo structures, but the team wanted to see how they could translate these structures to cater to the tropics.
Consisting of an overarching roof and a linking canopy, the pavilion conjoins a cluster of temporary exhibition domes. The pavilion is made up of 11,000 unique perforated aluminium panels, 12,040 bolts, 11,188 plates, and 4,620 elements for the main steel structure.
Technicality aside, for visitors, the pavilion offered a stunning multi-sensory experience akin to walking in an imaginary forest.
Grace Assembly of God
THE brief for a new Grace Assembly of God was simple: it had to be big enough to cater to the church's increase in worship capacity and also for the new building to be able to invoke a sense of reverence.
LAUD Architects won the design competition for the new church building: a four-storey building that has a 1,500 seat main sanctuary, three smaller worship halls, prayer rooms and an administrative office.
The central atrium is the church's main highlight. Inspiration was drawn from the ancient Jordanian archeological site, Petra, famous for its towering rock formations.
The architectural team also drew inspiration from old renaissance churches, where the play of light and volume serves to remind the worshippers of God's presence. This same strategy was reinterpreted in the atrium as a pre-worship awe- inspiring space before worshippers enter the different halls.
The result is the central atrium which has a pair of stone curved walls rising four storeys high, while skylights allow shafts of light to cast onto the floor below to create a space inspiring the awesomeness of God.
The glass facade at the two ends of the atrium allows views of the surrounding lush landscaping from inside, while those on the outside are able to view the activities inside the church, thereby allowing for connection between the church and the city.
New Wings at the Asian Civilisations Museum
GreenhilLi architecture + design
HOW do you add on new extensions to an old building without destroying its architectural heritage? GreenhilLi architecture + design did this by using daylight when they designed the new wings for the Asian Civilisations Museum.
The heritage building which the museum is housed in dates back to 1867. Since then, several extensions and modifications have been carried out, all of which were in the original style of the building.
The architecture of the new 2015 extensions is very much contemporary.
Daylight is used as a device to distinguish new from old, to facilitate a sympathetic contiguity and create synergy between the two.
The riverfront wing, which fronts the Singapore River promenade, is a welcoming open doorway to the museum. The main feature is a grand titanium entrance portal which draws visitors into the expansive daylight-filled space.
Meanwhile, the Kwek Hong Png wing consists of three separate purpose-built galleries over three levels designed to offer different exhibition environments. The architecture takes on the form of a metallic titanium cuboid that appears to float one level above the ground.
GreenhilLi directors Li Sau Kei and Nigel Greenhill say the architecture of the new extensions does not mimic the past, rather it honestly represents architecture of the 21st century while complementing and integrating with the existing building.