With its population jumping from 4 million in 2000 to 5.2 million in 2011 and housing prices rising fast, Singapore needed to expand its supply of public housing at the end of the last decade. But instead of building banal apartment blocks, the city-state's Housing & Development Board (HDB)—which provides public housing for both middle- and working-class residents—hired some of the most talented local architects to create a new generation of subsidized projects that would be greener and built at much higher densities than older ones.

For an area called Dawson, not far from Singapore's downtown, HDB planned three large projects to replace a low-rise housing “estate” razed a decade ago. Two of these complexes—SkyTerrace and SkyVille—are under construction; the third waits to move forward. SCDA Architects, headed by Soo K. Chan, designed SkyTerrace, focusing on the buildings' relationship to an adjacent linear park running along the Alexandra Canal and the need for multigenerational living units. Comprising five towers ranging from 40 to 43 stories and sitting atop a parking podium, the project will offer residents great views from their apartments as well as a series of landscaped spaces flowing over the podium, down to a large courtyard, and into the linear park. Terraces with lush tropical plants will connect the towers at various heights, offering elevated gardens to residents, who begin arriving in early 2015.

To accommodate Singapore's growing number of elderly, SCDA designed studio apartments that attach to larger duplexes, so aging parents can live next to their children while maintaining their independence. Clearly expressed on the exterior of the mostly precast-concrete buildings, each apartment was fabricated off-site as a set of modules, then hoisted into place. Prices range from $225,000 for a studio to $520,000 for one of the largest units. The project has earned a Platinum rating from Singapore's Green Mark system by taking advantage of the tropical climate to harvest rainwater, provide drip irrigation for plantings, filter water in bio-retention basins, and generate energy with rooftop solar arrays. And its design uses natural ventilation and sun shading to keep apartments cool without air-conditioning.


Formal name of building:


Completion Date:
1st Quarter 2015

Gross square footage:
87101.97 sqM

Housing & Development Board (HDB) Singapore

SCDA Architects Pte Ltd
8 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088385
Tel: 6324 5458, Fax: 6324 5450

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Chan Soo Khian (QP); Oon Jin Aik; Lilian Dirgantoro; Maulana Islami; Paulin Tay Chai Hoon

C&S Engineer: Ronnie & Koh Consultants Pte Ltd.

M&E Engineer: BESCON Consulting Engineers Pte

SCDA Landscape Pte Ltd

Green Consultant:
ZEB Technology Pte Ltd

Quantity Surveyor:
WT Partnership

General contractor:
SUNHUAN Construction Pte Ltd

SCDA Architects; Visual Media Works

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoDesk AutoCAD; Google SketchUp Pro



Structural system
Concrete framing

Steel Truss for Skybridges
TTJ Design & Engineering Pte Ltd

Pre Cast Concrete for building fa'ade
Syscon Pte Ltd

Exterior cladding
Precast concrete: Syscon Pte Ltd +65-6823238

Aluminium Mesh Cladding
Xin Long Pte Ltd
+65-6853 9956

Metal frame:
Durabeau Industries P/L +65-68622228

Durabeau Industries Pte Ltd

EI Corporation Pte Ltd (recyclable timber door)
+65 6362 1006
Prefab Technology 3 Pte Ltd (steel frame)
+65-6365 8322

Wood doors:
EI Corporation Pte Ltd (recyclable timber door)
+65-6362 1006
Prefab Technology 3 Pte Ltd (steel frame)
+65-6365 8322

Sliding doors:
Slide and Hide Systems (S) Pte Ltd (door system)
EI Corporation Pte Ltd (recyclable timber door)
+65-6362 1006

Alsecure International Pte Ltd
+65- 6288 1110

Alsecure International Pte Ltd
+65- 6288 1110

Exit devices:
Alsecure International Pte Ltd
+65- 6288 1110

Paints and stains:
Jotun (Singapore) Pte Ltd
+65-6508 8288

Floor and wall tile (cite where used):
OES Construction Pte Ltd
(Living, Dining, Kitchen, Bath, Yard & Balcony)

Changi Light Pte Ltd

Exterior: Changi Light Pte Ltd +65-67489454

Fujitec Singapore Corpn. Ltd.
O: 6249 3270

Photovoltaic system:
Utica Energy Pte Ltd

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Bio Retention Basin:
Netatech Pte Ltd
Uniseal Singapore Pte Ltd

Rain Water Harvesting & Drip Irrigation System:
HKS Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd
+65-6844 1998

Intermediate Storage System for Recyclable Chute
GreenWave Solution Pte Ltd