Orchard Suites

Orchard Suites, Singapore Innovation: The innovation of the project is really in seeking a viable solution for such a small site for the client with a distinctive architectural character. Surrounded by neighbouring sites which are at least 3 times larger, with buildings that are between 25 storeys to 36 storeys high, matching these goliaths would mean a very slim building that even poses structural slenderness difficulty. It is therefore a calculated solution whereby raising the apartments above the podiums of the surrounding buildings and capturing the views of the Marina Bay in the distance, determined the height and footprint of the building. To stand out amongst the crowd, a distinctive ‘skin’ was conceptualised both to give a distinctive form and presence to the slender building, and yet act as an environmental filter. The skin takes advantage of the local code that sunshades are allowed to go beyond the building setback. As a result, much like a lady in a diaphanous flowing gown, the Orchard Suites is transformed into a unique and stunning statuesque landmark. The building is benchmarked to achieve the Green Mark. The apartments are designed to be effectively cross ventilated, taking advantage of the breeze that one can expect from the higher floors. The building is also perfectly oriented north south avoiding the harsh western sun. The total effect is a building that consumes less energy for its cooling needs. Solar powered LED lights are also embedded in the ends of the support system for the skin, giving the building an interesting sparkling of lights at night. In fact, it will probably be the only building still aglow even if there is a power failure! Concept Statement: Situated at a prime location in downtown Orchard Road of Singapore, Orchard Suites stands out amongst the crowd of high rise residential development around by its unique and innovative ‘skin’ architecture. Disadvantaged by an extremely small site, and with a desire to bring high rise living to a new green benchmark, an extremely sinuous and diaphanous skin is created to modulate the climate to achieve thermal comfort without resorting to the constant use of the air-conditioner. This skin is both a sun shading device as well as a wind and rain modulator, depending on the location in relation to the interior space. Yet this sinuous fabric is based on a modular system on an orthogonal grid. This skin shroud over an apartment that is designed with effective cross ventilation, taking advantage of the breeze that a building of this height can enjoy. It literally allows the building to breathe. Therefore, the 22 apartments are raised well above the podium of the surrounding buildings, to leave a communal deck at the second storey as well as a roof top swimming pool with gym for the enjoyment of the residents. Optimal building orientation in a north south direction for all the living spaces, with sensible zoning, whereby the service core takes the brunt of the western sun, and orienting the living and master bedroom towards the best views of the Marina Bay in the South East, will effectively reduce the solar heat gain of the hot tropical sun and yet capture what the site can offer for a contemporary city lifestyle. The Orchard Suites has successfully turned an environmental concern into an architectural fashion statement that has brought commercial benefits to the developer. The development is expected to fetch a higher price due to its unique character, good layout, location and views.


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