UNStudio has unveiled their design for the redevelopment of Singapore’s UIC Building (1973), located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District. The concept integrates lush sky gardens throughout a 53-story residential tower and a 23-story office tower, while distinguishing itself with a unique facade made up of five different textures that represent various programs. The climatically responsive structure is scheduled for completion in 2016. Continue after the break for the architects’ description.
The former UIC Building dominated the city skyline as Singapore’s tallest building for many years since its completion in 1973 and was part of an important collection of towers located along Shenton Way in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District. Today, the area is undergoing rejuvenation and transformation and ‘V on Shenton’, the new UIC building, forms part of this redevelopment. The dual programming of ‘V on Shenton’, comprising office and residential, presents a unique situation in this area of the city. The twin tower of ‘V on Shenton’ is comprised of a 23-storey office building and a 53-storey residential tower, with the dual programming of the building highlighted through its massing. The office tower corresponds to the scale of the surrounding buildings and the street, while the residential tower rises up to distinguish itself from the neighbouring buildings. Above the third sky lobby, the unit mix of the residential tower changes with a subtle display of its split core.
Facade Just as the office and residential towers are of the same family of forms, so do their facades originate from the same family of patterns. The basic shape of the hexagon is used to create patterns that increase the performance of the facades with angles and shading devices that are responsive to the climatic conditions of Singapore. Along with systematic material variations, these geometric panels add texture and cohesion to the building, whilst reflecting light and pocketing shade. The texture and volume of the facade are important to maintaining the comfort of those living and working in the residential and office buildings. Shading devices and high-performance glass are important for developing a sustainable and liveable facade. Ben van Berkel: “The pattern of the façade comprises four to five different textures, each varying depending on the programme. At times the glass of the façade creates texture through the relief effect and the coloured side lighting, whilst the volumetric balconies of the residences create a deep texture in the total volume of the building.“
Each tower is framed by “chamfers”; a line that unifies the composition of the residential tower, the office tower and the plinth. During daytime the chamfer appears smooth in contrast to the textured surfaces of the towers. At night the chamfer lights up as a continuous line framing building. Ben van Berkel: “’V on Shenton’ will have an incredible presence within the whole organisation of the city and is in that respect a very public project. But we see it also as a sculptural object, where the continuous line of the chamfer highlights the form and where the different textures are not purely related to programme, but also ‘dress’ the building.”
Lobbies On the ground floor of the development stainless steel lines are inlaid into the floors and lines of light are traced across the ceiling, guiding pedestrians to their destination. The office lobby is divided into a reception area and a large café which extends along the view corridor to create a lively atmosphere in the public areas.
Sky Gardens The sky lobbies and the sky garden are an integral part of ‘V on Shenton’ and provide 360 degree views of Singapore. The most ample and diverse of the three sky gardens covers the entire 8th storey of the development. Here, residents are able to take full advantage of the amenities while still having privacy to train or entertain guests. Along with the facades, the sky gardens are an integral part of developing the sustainable lifestyle of ‘V on Shenton’. These lush green spaces provide a refuge from the city with the climate and vegetation naturally providing fresher, cleaner air. At the two sky lobbies in the heart of the residential tower, residents are given even greater privacy combined with views of the city or the ocean. The residents of the penthouse levels will also have exclusive access to the outdoor roof terraces.
Architect: UNStudio Location: No. 5 Shenton Way, UIC Building, Singapore Client: UIC Investments (Properties) Pte Ltd Design Team: Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber and Nuno Almeida with Ariane Stracke, Cristina Bolis; Derrick Diporedjo, Florian Licht, Gustav Fagerström, Hal Wuertz, Jaap Baselmans, Jaap-Willem Kleijwegt, Rob Henderson, Patrick Kohl, Juliane Maier, René Rijkers, Martin Zangerl, Zhongyuan Dai, Jeong Eun Choi, Wing Tang, Stefano Rocchetti, Sander Versluis, Jay Williams, Jae Young Lee Building surface: 85.507 m2 Building volume: Residential Tower 237m height; Office Tower 123m height Building site: 6778 m2 Project Year: 2010-2016 Project Status: Finalized DD phase at end of 2011 Local Architect: Architects 61 Pte Ltd Structural engineer: DE Consultants (S) Pte Ltd M&E consultant: J Roger Preston (S) Pte Ltd Quantity surveyor: KPK Quantity Surveyors