CTBUH, the organization best known for its Tall Building Awards, has announced the winner of its inaugural Urban Habitat Award: OMA / Ole Scheeren's The Interlace in Singapore. The jurors, including Studio Gang Architects' Jeanne Gang, praised the apartment complex, which includes communal gardens and spaces on the roofs and in between the apartment blocks, for responding to its tropical context and "integrating horizontal and vertical living frameworks."
From the Press Release. The Interlace, a residential tall building project in Singapore, has won the inaugural Urban Habitat award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
The Interlace is a 1,040-unit apartment complex consisting of 31 apartment blocks, each six stories tall and 70 meters long, stacked in hexagonal arrangements around eight large-scale, permeable courtyards. The stacking of the volumes creates a topographical phenomenon more reminiscent of a landscape than of a typical building. An extensive network of communal gardens and spaces is interwoven with amenities, providing multiple opportunities for social interaction, leisure and recreation – both on the roofs of, and in between, these stacked horizontal blocks.
“The Interlace creatively realizes the potential a tropical environment provides for inverting the ‘towers in the park’ typology in favor of the tower as park,” said Awards Jury chair Jeanne Gang, founding principal of Studio Gang Architects. “By integrating horizontal and vertical living frameworks, it becomes much more than the sum of its parts.”
The CTBUH Urban Habitat Award is newly established this year to recognize that the impact of tall buildings extends far beyond the buildings themselves. The award recognizes significant contributions to the urban realm, in connection with tall buildings. In particular, it highlights projects that demonstrate a positive contribution to the surrounding environment, add to the social sustainability of both their immediate and wider settings, and represent design influenced by context, both environmentally and culturally.
“The Interlace is far beyond being just a worthy winner of the inaugural Urban Habitat award,” said CTBUH Executive Director and 2014 awards juror Antony Wood. “It demonstrates dramatically the real opportunity tall buildings have for creating quality urban space at height, if we can only break down our preconception of designing skyscrapers as stand-alone, unconnected icons. It is no surprise that it is Singapore that has fostered a building such as this, given its recent history in connecting tall buildings with sky gardens at height. In The Interlace, we finally we see the intentions of the Japanese Metabolists come to fantastic effect.”
The Awards Jury also recognized the considerable urban qualities of NEO Bankside, London, UK, in awarding it Finalist status in this inaugural year of the urban habitat award. Set in a rejuvenating area on the south bank of the Thames, this 217-unit residential project takes its cues from the surrounding context of Southwark, channeling its contemporary energy and past industrial heritage. Ground-level retail and landscaped groves guide the public through the site from the riverside into the neighborhood.
All award winners will be recognized at the CTBUH 13th Annual Awards Symposium, which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, on November 6.