Architect Ben van Berkel of Amsterdam-based firm UNStudio used a unique pinwheel plan to design the Ardmore Residence, creating a new architectural icon in Singapore.

Van Berkel divided the 36-story building into two pieces, sliding a pair of mirror-image apartments on either side of the building’s elevator core. This interlocking floor plan—inspired by cours d’honneur, which are French three-sided courtyards— preserves privacy and provides a variety of views.

To take advantage of the tropical climate Van Berkel merged indoor and outdoor areas, creating seamless transitions between them. Each unit features outdoor showers off the master bedroom, large glazed areas, and double-height balconies for natural ventilation, plenty of sunlight, and vast panoramas of Singapore.

Towering nearly 500 feet, the building stands eight stories off the ground on slender concrete columns, and hovers above a subterranean parking garage and the main entrance.

The building’s bold contoured surface is made of white prefabricated concrete. Van Berkel used the external features of the 58 apartments to create the façade’s stacked pattern resembling the vertebrae of a glamorous spinal column. This stratified pattern of balconies and rounded bay windows repeats itself every four floors.

The Ardmore joins a crowd of high-end high-rises (including two by Jean Nouvel) in Singapore’s Orchard Road luxury enclave. Shared amenities include a lap swimming pool with an adjoining Jacuzzi, cabanas, a barbeque deck, sculpture gardens, (a pumpkin sculpture by Yayoi Kusama rests near the entry), and a gymnasium.


Client: Pontiac Land Group


Architect: UNStudio


Local Executive Architect:
Architects 61, Singapore


Construction Management:
Pontiac Land Group


Structure: Web Structures, Singapore

Mechanical & Electrical Consulting Engineers: J Roger Preston, Singapore

Fa'ade: Ove Arup, Singapore


Contractors: Shimizu Corporation


Interior design show suite (level 33) & clubhouse: Terry Hunziger


Entrance artwork: Yayoi Kusama


Completion date:

September 2013


Site Dimensions:

185,000 ft² 



Exterior Materials
Substructure: concrete
Superstructure: concrete
Envelope: pre-fabricated concrete

Interior Materials / suppliers
Flooring: Beige Marble / Roman Travertine / American Oak Timber Flooring
Glazing: Glass and Aluminium
Ceilings: Plaster and paint
Wall finishes: Plaster and Marble / Roman Travertine

Kitchen appliances:
Kitchen system: by Poggenpohl from Germany
Refrigerator and Wine chiller: Liebherr from Germany
Oven, Microwave, Cooker Hob & Hood, Dishwasher: V-zug from Switzerland
Washing machine & dryer: V-zug from Switzerland

Bathroom appliances:
Sanitary ware: Kohler from USA

Fixtures and fittings:
Tap fittings: Dornbracht from Germany (note: Kitchen Yard is Jado from Germany)
GIRA Switches and EIB Lighting system

Special elements:
Custom-made aluminum retractable louvers at the balconies

Sustainable features:
As per Greenmark Declaration:
1. Green Roofs at ancillary buildings with auto-irrigation and sensors
2. Water usage regulators and Water efficient fittings
3. Motion sensors for back of house spaces
4. Energy efficient VRV air-conditioning system
5. Naturally ventilated lobbies/ common areas
6. Apartment units have good daylighting and natural ventilation