OMA's Beijing Office Designs Residential Tower for Singapore
Three years after establishing its Beijing office, the Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has announced the first project spearheaded entirely by this branch: Singapore Scotts Tower, a 36-story, 68-unit condominium tower for the Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest private development company.
Designed by partner Ole Scheeren and associate Eric Chang—both veterans of OMA’s Prada projects—the building is composed of four distinct towers, cantilevered at varying heights above a central core that is shaped like a plus sign. Scheeren says that this cantilevered design represents an attempt to bypass Singapore’s notoriously fickle housing market and zoning requirements. By eliminating most of the building’s lower floors, OMA created a residential tower where essentially only top floors exist.
“Nobody wants to live on the ground floor of a skyscraper,” Scheeren says. “We had to prove to the clients that the increased architectural cost also led to the increased value of the apartments.” Since the mass of the structure meets the ground with a minimal footprint, he adds, the surrounding site will be filled tropical landscaping and recreation facilities. Arup is engineering the project.
Construction on the Scotts Tower is expected to begin by the end of this year and finish in 2009. While the largest projects for OMA’s Beijing office are the CCTV and TVCC building, both slated for completion in 2008, the branch has been slowly winning work in Asia. It is now working jointly with Rem Koolhaas and the Rotterdam office to design a stock exchange building in Shenzhen.