In early December, Ben van Berkel unveiled his firm’s latest design for a 31-storey residential tower in Singapore. The tower presents a new take on functional and flexible space, as the structure is conceived as a framework for a vertical city complete with landscaped gardens, sky terraces, roof gardens and recreational facilities. ”An interesting facet of the Scotts Tower is the way that it reacts to the urban context of Singapore. Instead of the more usual means of planning a city horizontally, we have created neighborhoods in the sky; a vertical city where each zone has its own distinct identity,” explained van Berkel.
The tower is ordered by a “vertical frame” which organizes the programmatic necessities in a manner that responds to the urban context, and a “sky frame” that dictates the arrangement of gardens. Four residential zones are formed by the relationship between the two frames, and are clustered around different types of gardens which provide views of both the cityscape and natural landscape. The residences offer different identities, in terms of type, scale, distribution and articulation of outdoor space, along with the possibility for personalization of the interior layout. The integration of balconies allows the tower to take advantage of the site’s unique juxtaposition between dense metropolis and unfolding natural landscape.
Starting at the ground level, the emphasis on adding greenery to the highrise becomes apparent, as the existing garden area to the west of the site is extended into The Scotts Tower and incorporates a multi-layered environment which links the different zones and recreational facilities available to the residents.
A new vertical green gateway is defined by the lower “sky lobby”, and even farther up the tower, a ”sky garden”, which offers panoramic views and the possibility for use as a social platform for outdoor events. The continued, yet varied, use of green in the highrise creates a distinct atmosphere for its residents, and a new kind of expression for the city.