WOHA‘s ‘Breathing Architecture’ exhibition, which will be up until April 29th has been very successful at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt, Germany. Some of their structures remind us of bold visions of the future, in which plants reclaim nature for themselves. WOHA realizes the permeation of buildings and landscape, of interiors and exteriors in projects such as the Singapore School of the Arts and the seminal residential high-rise The Met in Bangkok, which received the International Highrise Award 2010. More images and architects’ description after the break.
WOHA is represented by Mun Summ Wong and Richard Hassell as directors of the architectural office based in Singapore. They made their name in Asia in the late 1990s with open, single-family dwellings suitable for the tropics. Today they mainly design high-rises and large structures: a mega residential park in India, office and hotel towers in Singapore that lend a new, vertical dimension to green landscapes. Air-conditioning is merely an additional feature for these open structures, because the building structure itself provides the cooling. Natural lighting is standard, solar modules harvest energy for use in the buildings; water for domestic purposes and rainwater are reused.
Topics such as creating value added through communal areas and permeability for climate and nature will be presented in WOHA’s first monographic exhibition using examples of open tropical family homes, green high-rises and projects still in the completion phase. The exhibition, split in the four chapters Permeable Houses, Open School and Community Buildings, Porous Towers and Perforated Hotels and Resorts, showcases 19 of WOHA’s most important projects in large-format photos and plans, project texts, digital images and models.
WOHA’s permeable architecture is influenced by South-East Asian culture and the location of their office in the city state of Singapore; 130 kilo metres north of the Equator, where temperatures all the year round are about 32°c, falling at night to 23°c, and where particularly heavy rain falls during the monsoon months.
In summary WOHA’s tropical architecture is permeable, leafy and interspersed with community spaces. Or to reword as a manifest formula: Architecture is breathing.