SUITES AT CENTRALEdit profile
This prime location was formerly occupied by walk-up apartments incompatible to premium developments in Singapore’s famous shopping precinct nearby, Orchard Road. The brief called for a full utilisation of the masterplan plot ratio, culminating in a tower that upscales the neighbourhood quality. It also became an opportunity to enrich the skyline by literally framing the cityscape, as well as crafting the hilly site into a panoramic vantage point. The widely-varying site levels were integrated by creating three distinct platforms which leads one from entry forecourt into an upper plateau where the towers soar 130m above the street. The third and lowest platform was planned with a tennis court in order for the site to be constructed in two phases. A backdrop retaining wall in the forecourt merges basement parking and driveway into a sunken podium, creating an entrance threshold which one surpasses along an ascending path. Upon reaching the upper platform, panoramic vistas of the city are revealed, framed by 3 storey high pilotis which lift the mass of apartments above. This landscaped plateau becomes a vantage point where an oasis of calming pools and sheltering greens allude to a contemplative resort-like setting. Bay windows, planters and balconies, being exempt from the planning authority’s gross floor area, were commercially attractive for developers to incorporate within apartments. This regulation loophole led to bulky facades laden with typical elements all across town. Our critique of this was to use them as architectural device which textures the facade, provides shade and articulates depth. This visual hierarchy builds up to the summit where a 7-storey high “urban window` frames a dialogue of sight-lines between two sides of the whole city. The combination of context and function has led to a new definition of tropical high-rise in our contribution towards making a distinctive Singapore’s cityscape.