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:
Gross square footage:
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
M&E Engineer: BESCON Consulting Engineers Pte
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Steel Truss for Skybridges
Pre Cast Concrete for building fa'ade
Aluminium Mesh Cladding
Paints and stains:
Floor and wall tile (cite where used):
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Rain Water Harvesting & Drip Irrigation System:
Intermediate Storage System for Recyclable Chute