Walking along Beach Road, between the Marina and Civic District in the heart of downtown Singapore, you can discover the new 150,000m2 eco-quarter designed by Foster + Partners and global design firm Aedas, as an exemplary showcase of green architecture: The South Beach, the most anticipated project and the new Singapore’s iconic landmark that has redefined the city Skyline.
A joint venture between City Developments Limited and IOI Properties Group Berhad, it seamlessly blends new construction with the restoration of existing buildings, energy efficient new urban quarter brings together places to live and work with shops, cafes, restaurants, a 5 star Design Hotel and public spaces.
The site also houses a row of four buildings to be conserved and regenerated. A wide landscaped pedestrian avenue – a green spine – weaves through the site and is protected by a large canopy, which shelters the light-filled public spaces beneath from the extremes of the tropical climate.
Two interconnected pairs of 45 storey towers stand towards the north and south of the site, connected by the green spine – the south towers are divided between a hotel and apartments, while the north towers contain offices. Their facades extend into a gentle arc, which continues the language of the undulating canopy below – they are angled to capture prevailing winds and direct air flow to cool the ground level spaces. Reinterpreting the Singaporean ideal of the ‘city in a garden’ in a high-rise form, the towers are intersected by densely planted sky gardens serving as Club facilities for the Residences and Hotel, and as break out spaces for the Offices, which hosts tenants like Expedia, the aerospace company Boeing and the social- media giant Facebook.
An extended vertical and horizontal louvers are prevalent on the North and South Facades to cut out the harsh tropical sun. A continuous louvered screen covers the East and West Facades. The louvers act both as sun shade as well as planters, allowing green to ascend the tower. The spaces behind the screens become system of planters, balconies and terraces that respond to the internal functions. At a lower level, the treatment of the perimeter buildings is sensitive to the scale of the nineteenth century Raffles Hotel on the opposite side of the street – the four adjacent former military buildings along Beach Road have been carefully restored and are interspersed with mature trees, which have been conserved on the site.
A large environmental canopy enveloping much of the 34,950sm site hovers over these different elements, stitching them together. This canopy mediates the harsh tropical climate, keeping out rain and direct sunlight while allowing wind to flow through the site.
The canopy’s ribbons of steel and aluminium louvres flex above the primary circulation routes and public spaces, and dip near the edges to meet the Beach Road buildings. The ribbons are supported by slender pillars and rise up the exposed east and west elevations of the towers to form a series of vertical louvres, which are carefully angled to encourage natural ventilation.
The entrance to the canopy rises up to form an arc, which acts as a wind scoop, drawing the prevailing breezes through the space and promoting natural ventilation. Beneath the canopy are a series of smaller buildings and flexible spaces for functions and events. Combining rainwater harvesting with a range of environmental strategies, the development has already won two Green Mark Platinum Awards.
In fact, it is estimated that South Beach will save close to 2,000 MWh of electricity and 174,000m3 of water annually. The Concept hotel, located in the South Tower, is designed to create a H.I.P. environment – Highly Individualised People and Places – and features 654 Philippe Starck-designed Showcase Guest Rooms and Suites, an ADHD (All Day Hotel Dining) restaurant, three vibrant bars, two sky gardens, two infinity swimming pools and a gym.
There are 43 Imaginative Social Spaces, which together offers a unique destination within the thriving Civic District.
In the South Beach Hotel, Philippe Stark has created infinite experiences places by integrating lifestyle, design and technology. The Lobby, called The Global Village, features seven different individualised check-in counters and welcomes with a Vintage Miami Beach flavour, through an explosions of vibrant coloured mix and match furniture, texture and fabrics and a magnificent 7m by 6.5m digital art wall by South Korean artist Lee Lee Nam.
The elegant guestrooms and suites, called ‘Showcase Rooms and Suites’ ,features 400 thread count linens, designer amenities, luxurious bath furnishings and the advanced in-Room Control technology by VDA. The South Beach Residences, located in the upper half of the South Tower, comprises 190 elegantly designed residential units and penthouses from levels 23 to 45. The luxurious residences command 360 panoramic and unsurpassed views sweeping across Marina Bay all the way through to the Central Business District skyline, and the Orchard shopping district.
Residents are provided with an alternative venue for entertaining guests at either of the two luscious sky gardens, to infuse contemporary style with ecological design.
” The design seeks to create a hospitality experience second to none and we hope that each guest who stays with us can leave with unique stories to tell. “