The Interlace in Singapore, a large-scale residential development by CapitaLand Singapore, has been chosen by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago as the winner of the inaugural worldwide Urban Habitat Award 2014 in recognition of its groundbreaking contributions to the urban realm and social sustainability.
Ole Scheeren’s design generates an extensive network of private and shared spaces in a radical reinterpretation of contemporary life in a community. Instead of following the default typology of housing in dense urban environments – clusters of isolated towers – the design turns vertical isolation into horizontal connectivity and reinstates the notion of community as a central issue in today’s society.
31 apartment blocks, each six stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement around eight generous courtyards. The interlocking blocks create a multitude of shared outdoor spaces, forming a dramatic topography of inhabitable terraced gardens across the stepped volumes. Partly resting, partly floating, the blocks hover on top of each other to form an expressive “interlaced” space that connects the individual apartments with accessible and inclusive community life.
“The Interlace opens a space of collective experience within the city and reunites the desire for individuality and privacy with a sense of togetherness and living in a community,” says architect Ole Scheeren. “Social interaction is integrated with the natural environment in a synthesis of tropical nature and habitable urban space. The design generates a multiplicity of qualities and choices for its inhabitants – a sense of richness and freedom in the choices you make.”
The 170,000m2 development by CapitaLand Singapore and Hotel Properties Limited, which was completed and handed over to residents in late 2013, provides 1,040 generous residential units of varying sizes that are reasonably priced for private housing. Sustainability features are incorporated throughout the project through careful environmental analysis and integration of low-impact passive energy strategies. A series of site specific environmental studies, including wind, solar, and daylight analysis, were carried out to determine intelligent strategies for the building envelope and landscape design. As a result, the project has been awarded the Universal Design Mark Platinum Award and Green Mark GoldPLUS Award from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.
The landscape design capitalizes on the generous size of the eight-hectare site and further maximizes the presence of nature. By stacking the apartment blocks, the design generates a multiplication of horizontal surfaces populated by extensive roof gardens and landscaped terraces that in aggregate provide 112% green area – more than the size of the unbuilt site.
The Urban Habitat Award recognizes The Interlace’s significant contributions to the urban realm; its exemplary integration with its surrounding environment; and its ability to add to the social sustainability of its immediate and wider context, environmentally, socially, and culturally.
The Interlace adds to Ole Scheeren’s international portfolio of city-defining structures and cultural projects, with his current projects at Buro Ole Scheeren including an art center near the Forbidden City in Beijing; Angkasa Raya, a 268 meter tall building of floating rectangular volumes in the heart of Kuala Lumpur; DUO, a large-scale mixed-use development currently under construction in Singapore; and Mahanakhon, currently rising to become Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper.