The Interlace / OMA


A year and a half ago, OMA unveiled the first images for a residential project in , on  schematic design phase. Basically it was a set of stacked low-rise blocks.

Today OMA sent us an update on this project, The Interlace, and more details appear.

The project is located on a green belt outside the capital city, and consists on 31 stacked apartment blocks, each six-stories tall and identical in length, resulting in 170,000sqm of gross floor area for 1,040 apartments.

What is interesting about the project is how these stacked volumes achieve a high density, while still maintaining privacy and long-range views as you can see on the renderings.

The second result of this “stacked” strategy, are the common spaces filled with tropical green. By looking at the plan view of the complex, a series of inner courtyards appear on the empty spaces between the blocks. The project  turns then into a rich vertical community, apart from the single tower projects seen in the area. Extensive residential amenities and facilities are interwoven into the lush vegetation and offer opportunities for social interaction, leisure, and recreation.

Above-ground vehicular circulation is minimized, liberating large green areas within the development. The Interlace incorporates sustainability features through careful environmental analysis of sun, wind, and micro-climate conditions on site and the integration of low-impact passive energy strategies.



The design is led by Ole Scheeren together with Eric Chang, Associate of OMA.

Developer: A CapitaLand-led consortium comprising CapitaLand Residential Singapore Pte Ltd, Hotel Properties Limited and a third shareholder.
Lead Designer: Ole Scheeren, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) Beijing
Project Architect: RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd
Landscape Architect: ICN Design International Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon & Seah Singapore Pte Ltd
Type of Development: Condominium comprising 1,040 units with extensive clubhouse facilities and retail storefronts
Unit Types: A range of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, penthouses and duplex garden units. Areas will vary from 75 square meters for a two-bedroom unit to 586 square meters for a penthouse with private roof garden
Site Area: Approximately 81,000 square meters (871,884 square feet)
Gross Floor Area: Approximately 170,000 square meters (1.8 million square feet)
Floors: 24 stories above ground with one level of basement parking

Cite: Basulto, David. "The Interlace / OMA" 04 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Aug 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    the density and variations in space created by these blocks is fantastic.


    • Thumb up Thumb down -1

      i can´t imagine that there will be good living conditions – orientation and density and exposure to the sun is bad.

      finally: this is structuralism reloaded. ideas of today fail tomorrow. deja-vu !

      • Thumb up Thumb down -2

        “orientation and density and exposure to the sun is bad.”

        there about 20-40 different “orientations” presented in the scheme so a general statement about orientation doesn’t make any sense.
        also – none of us have any idea what aspect any of these orientations face, so exposure to the sun is impossible for us to know.

        cool words though.

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        “there about 20-40 different “orientations” presented in the scheme so a general statement about orientation doesn’t make any sense. also – none of us have any idea what aspect any of these orientations face, so exposure to the sun is impossible for us to know.”

        it is not: due to the variety of orientation there MUST be bad d orientations in some of the units. usually it´s an easy task to design new housing units with equal quality. OMA failed this time, but please try again ;)

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        orientation, orientation… all possible to solve in the design.
        I love this stuff. Completely ridiculous and at the same time triggering everybody to think and say something about it. Gives an edge and some humour to architecture, which doesn’t make it bad, as long as it is well thought of.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      say that to that develop.
      Pls keep in mind some should be willing enough to gamble for a project to come true.
      Pls be realistic

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    The genius here is not the apartment blocks themselves, which seem to serve a program quite adequately, but the arrangement, the projection and the use of the roof as gardens, brilliant.
    I agree there is tension but every block has different views and positions and that accounts for very amazing architecture, actually. And surrounded by jungle and tennis courts and basketball courts and walkways, totally cool place.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think it is quit cynical and not very thin. I can’t see where is the poetry witch is always present even in very massive oma’s architecture.

    It’s to cold, but maybe how it will evolved in the details will improve that fact.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree with “arch critic” who points to a BIG project–although it works just fine, this is nothing new, and that disappoints me coming from OMA. Their strength isn’t in reinventing the wheel, but doing the wheel so much better than anyone else. I’m not convinced yet that they’ve achieved that level of sophistication with their staked blocks. The only genius is that it may be built.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think the composition of the blocks is just terrific and will make a great place to live. the orientation towards the sun is questionable, but not worse than in a lot of other residential areas

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Nice! It’s not a “new” idea per se, but quite well done and a lot more refreshing than the typical offerings of dense residential developments in Asia (the towers-around-a-park typology). By sprinkling the gardens and amenities around the development would certainly create more interesting conditions and opportunities for the residents…well, given that most of the units WOULD be occupied that is. There’s too many large scale development out there that are sparsely occupied—creating a deserted, desolated, and neglected space for those who uses the buildings

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Orientation here seems willfully disregarded for the sake of a form which is hardly novel. Roof gardens are a great idea but these are woefully exposed. This is the tropics – a smattering of trees just won’t cut it if you want them to be functional during the day. It helps to remember that there’s a big ball of fire burning in the sky.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    A terrible project, a new Habitat, old as possible and based a=on a solid old grid, the hexagon.
    no contemporary
    no modern
    no human (the prespective from human heights are terrible and also the feeling)
    a new urban slam

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I am really, but really dissapointed of the direction OMA has taken..this kind of concepts are already so banal and done hundreds of times..what would have made the difference is if the plan itself looked a bit more random or “disorganised”…I agree with Gerson, about everything…it is simply a project not from this century and lost any spirit of innovation and conecptual avant-garde , once something very familiar to OMA.
    I agree the principle of stacking boxes could give some very interesting spaces, vues and urban presence…but look at the facades-a 60s housing estate from eastern europe..
    What makes me even more frightened is the fact that the rendering style and especially the way the plan is illustrated reminds me more to a higly commercial office like Fosters or any other of the hungreds money making arab seducing practices …lets puts lots of trees,palms, coconuts, make the image beautiful, colours, colours -happy people,mothers with kids, big bentleys and fancy porsches…SO SAD REM, SO SAD….

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      i agree, but disagree:
      a) OMA is as “commercial” as any architect in the world – they don´t do anything for fun or welfare.
      b) as an architect you have to differ between the quality of the renderings and the quality of the architecture, of course.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        People have many ways of seeing work and ascribing a value to it, good or bad. Intentions and concepts are not discussed. This is unfair to all. This is a project that has a scale that is large enough to make a fundamental proposition such as the geometric configuration of apartment blocks, a feasible one. Could it work? That’s the question. Owners and sponsors are not sheep, they must put up the money for propositions such as this one, they bet it will work for them, their purposes. Our questions would then be would it be a shame if a project such as this one were not built, that’s the place of a value judgment.
        In this case, no one is quoting Paul Rudolph, Paolo Soleri nor making a clear referral to the metabolists. We should. If the facades were so important.(Remember apartments need walls and are mostly seen from within) would the project improve if it were finished as either Meir, Rogers, Hadid or Liebskind would do them?

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is a repulsive project. It reminds vaguely of the brilliant Moshe Safdie’s habitat for the simple fact of having blocks stacking over each other. No other qualities from Safdie’s project can be here seen though. There’s a total lack of human scale and urban identity. The collective green spances under cantilevering slabs are simply ridiculous not mentioning they’re designed as good as any commercial practice would do. There’s a feeling of exhibitionism and alientaion. This would be maybe a good project to feature in a sceniario of a dystopian society in a sci-fi movie. Oma has done and can do so much better!

  11. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    This looks a lot like the Bijlmer area in Amsterdam:,4.847116&sspn=0.040341,0.111494&ie=UTF8&ll=52.320626,4.964898&spn=0.010099,0.036049&t=k&z=16

    There used to be a lot more of these very Corbusier-style flats, but (obviously) they didn’t work (as with a lot of other projects like that, they kind of turned into ghettos) and a lot of them are demolished now.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it just seems out of scale. this concept of stacking boxes is great for the public advantages it productes, but at this scale it wouldn’t achieve the goal of social interaction on the roofs as much as desired and is proportionally unsettling (but maybe the latter is a point of it, f*ck context, f*ck proportion?)

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      It’s cheekily contextual— taking the usual 60s apartment block in the park and stacking it (changing the proportions would diminish the standard block form and would be less potent an image)— to create more urban condition from an otherwise anti-urban luxury apartment model.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Looks like a rendered update from de Bijlmermeer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. De Bijlmer horribly failed to combine a similar grid with exponential housing. It was believed that, just as nowadays, people would be happy living in green-lushy environments, etc. That may be true, but the social degradation within the enormous buildings has led to the restructuring of the whole Bijlmerproject within the era of 25-30 years. It is disappointing to see that OMA (which was born in the Netherlands mind you) did not learn from architectural history in the Netherlands. Shame on you Rem!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      You are so right
      It’s so 60′ modernism refurbished … like all the hexagonal (yes honeycomb was so trendy in those years) ensembles all around eastern and western Europe only over extruded 4 times and with some floors removed and some green terraces pleced on the top of the building, most of them for the exclusive use of some penthouse owners.

      As all those failed in delivering usable and livable spaces I think this will fail too.

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