Text description provided by the architects. Designed by Ole Scheeren, the DUO twin towers are an act of urban reconciliation. Conceived to knit together a previously disparate part of the city, DUO integrates the surrounding context with its diverse mix of functions around a 24-hour accessible public plaza to form a new civic nexus for the dynamic, prosperous life of Singapore.
The project is comprised of two expressive sculptural towers that have been dynamically carved to create a series of circular urban spaces. Their curved facades ripple with the delicate texture of a honeycomb shading system. The buildings’ slender forms envelope the public spaces, while the resulting geometries complement the angles of the existing architecture and create a landscape of covered and open-air gardens, walkways, cafes and restaurants.
Rather than functioning as a piece of individual and self-referential architecture, DUO is a sensitive insertion into Singapore’s urban fabric that unites a group of existing buildings through spatial integration and establishes a coherent overall urban figure. It turns a previously neglected neighborhood into a lively center for social interaction.
DUO represents a historic collaboration between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. Under guidance of both Prime Ministers and through their respective state investment arms Khazanah and Temasek, the joint-venture development embodies a new era of cooperation between the two Southeast Asian nations.
Located on the main route into the city from Singapore’s Changi Airport and nestled between the historic Kampong Glam district and vibrant commercial Bugis Junction, DUO integrates living, working and retail with public gardens, cultural installations, and a diverse urban context.
While DUO’s two towers contain the main functional elements – one tower accommodates 660 residences and the other corporate of ces and a ve-star hotel operated by Andaz – the structures dematerialize as they reach the ground, opening out into a porous public landscape. Here, vibrant commercial spaces weave around the footprint of the towers through a sequence of gardens and walkways that pass in and out of the towers hovering above.
Stretched across the skin of the DUO towers is an intricate honeycomb texture that not only hints at the hive-like activity of the surroundings, but also serves as a functional element in the building’s environmental strategy.
The honeycomb comprises a series of hexagonal sunshades that help protect the towers from the heat and glare of the sun, without interrupting the views out over Singapore’s gardens, oceans and skyline. The grid also provides texture to the smooth, concave curves of the towers, as well as accentuating the dramatic cantilevers and setbacks that form the physical body of DUO. The slender edges of each building are marked by a series of thin, vertical lines, designed to emphasize the elegance and re ned expression of the towers.