A gravity-defying tower aimed at ‘sustainable urbanism’ has opened in Singapore

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/singapore-sustainable-tower-building-scli-intl/index.html

Written by Emily Dixon, CNN

The newly-opened Robinson Tower in Singapore’s Central Business District might baffle you at first glance: the upper section appears to float above the lower, with a leafy garden between the two.

Get a little closer and you’ll spot the slender core that elevates the upper tower, maximizing views of the nearby marina from the twenty floors of offices, as well as providing space for the terraced rooftop garden.

Designed by New York’s Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the tower also houses retail and food and beverage spaces in the lower podium, arranged around another garden in a central atrium.

The newly-opened tower was designed to encourage “sustainable urbanism” in Singapore. Credit: Tim Griffith

Described by KPF as addressing “sustainable urbanism,” the design was influenced by Singapore’s Landscape Replacement Policy, which requires developers to incorporate publicly accessible green spaces equal in area to any greenery removed.

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The building’s faceted exterior “dematerializes and reflects the sun and sky differently,” KPF said in a press release. It was also designed to “form a contextual relationship” with Lau Pa Sat, also known as Telok Ayer Market, a historic food market with a distinctive angular roof that sits adjacent to Robinson Tower.

Singapore’s Landscape Replacement Policy requires that developers replace any greenery lost with equal amounts of publicly accessible green space. Credit: Tim Griffith

The tower is currently home to the Singapore office of KPF, established as the firm works on the upcoming Terminal 5 of Changi Airport, in collaboration with the London-based Heatherwick Studio.

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Bruce Fisher, design director at KPF, said in a press release: “At its core, this project presented the overlapping challenges of planning Class-A office space on an irregular site with environmental checks. However, these conditions ultimately drove the design’s success, all the while capitalizing on the expanse of Robinson Road’s visual corridor.”

The tower is located in Singapore’s Central Business District. Credit: Tim Griffith

“The dynamic tower frees itself from the canyon of stoic facades, integrating green space at unique vantage points and ultimately cultivating the public realm alongside a boutique, mixed-use program,” Fisher said.