Flanked by columns ten meters (33 ft.) tall on which hieroglyphic animals are carved, and set in lush landscaping with a menagerie of bronze animal sculptures, the gateway that welcomes residents and visitors to Savannah CondoPark dramatically sets the stage for this sustainable, safari adventure–themed community. Inside the gates, 18 ten-story condominium buildings, with footprints totaling 23 percent of the 5.5-hectare (13.6-acre) site, curve around a four-hectare (ten-acre) common open space featuring pools, gardens, and terraces.
The Interlace is a 1,040-unit mixed use development inspired by the old villages of Singapore. Developer CapitaLand Singapore Limited partnered with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture to create eight courtyards, cascading rooftop gardens, and terraces within a “vertical village” to provide views, ventilation, and green spaces for all levels of the 24-story complex. The hexagonal arrangement of the development was designed and tested to provide passive cooling and shade in Singapore’s tropical climate.
Physical activity, social interaction, and aging-in-place is encouraged through a wide range of facilities. There is a series of play pools, an Olympic-sized lap pool, three tennis courts, and a fitness center. Bicycle storage and parking facilities are provided underground and vast green spaces, covering over 112 percent of the original property, are provided at ground level and above. Community gardens, playgrounds, barbeque pits, dog runs, and outdoor exercise equipment promote outdoor physical activity and social gatherings. A running track around the perimeter of the Interlace is so wide it doubles as access for fire and emergency response vehicles. The universal design features of the Interlace, including specialized aging-in-place units and wheelchair-friendly fitness centers, was recognized by Singapore’s Building Construction Authority with the Gold Plus (Design) award.
Westwood Residences is a bicycle-themed multifamily housing development in Singapore that is slated to open in 2018. Bike-friendly features are being included to help differentiate the project from other developments on the market. The unit prices will be subsidized by the government, and the units will be more financially accessible than some comparable apartments. This development functions in the context of a larger move towards a more bike-friendly culture in Singapore. Westwood Residences will be located near a new and growing network of trails that will allow residents to easily bike to work in a growing shift towards biking in Singapore.
Bridging the mouth of the marina Channel, marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th freshwater reservoir and its first in the heart of the city. Designed and developed by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore’s national water agency, the barrage and reservoir stand as an international model for urbanized areas. Part infrastructure project, part new urban park, Marina Barrage features an 11,000-square meter (118,400-sf) green roof, a jetty for boats to dock, a water-sports center for sailing and rowing, an exhibition gallery for public education, and commercial space for restaurants and retail use.
Since opening in 2008, Marina Barrage has welcomed more than 2 million visitors and received numerous awards for excellence in engineering and sustainability, standing as a water conservation model for urbanized, seafront cities across the globe. Singapore’s circumstances necessitated a bold and innovative solution to provide a new supply of drinking water, increased flood control, and recreational opportunities for its citizens.
The Pinnacle@duxton is an international housing model for addressing the social, physical, and economic issues associated with housing development in extremely dense and urbanized settings. At 50 stories, the tallest project developed by Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, the residential complex comprises seven towers connected by two continuous sky bridges that provide unique recreation and community spaces. Occupying an irregular 2.5-hectare (6.2-ac) project area that was the site of the first two apartment blocks ever built by the Housing and Development Board, the Pinnacle@Duxton features 1,848 modern apartments, injecting 7,400 residents—many young families—into an area of aging households.
The Pinnacle@Duxton reflects the ceaseless life cycle of the redevelopment of public housing in Singapore. Returning to the site of the Housing and Development Board’s first project, which was built to ease a national affordable-housing crisis, it illustrates the level of excellence that Singapore’s national housing authority has reached. The interconnected high-density development redefines what high-rise living can be with its sky gardens and open spaces, breathes new life into an area of aging households, and provides affordable housing options in a central location. The building has become a point of national pride, winning numerous awards, including the Best Tall Building 2010 award from the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is a nine-story, international upscale hotel with direct access to the new Terminal 3 at Changi Airport. Until the Crown Plaza’s development, Changi Airport, Asia’s fifth-busiest aviation hub, was without a stand-alone hotel—overnight travelers were limited to transit hotels and nap rooms. Today, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport offers travelers 320 guest rooms, 950 square meters (10,226 sf) of banquet and meeting space, and 2,575 square meters (27,717 sf) of restaurant and entertainment space in a lush, tropical setting atop a tangle of access roads and parking.
In 2006, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore awarded a 0.6-hectare (1.5-ac) site between Terminal 1 and the newly constructed Terminal 3 at the Changi Airport to L.C. Development. The Singapore-based developer, along with partner LaSalle Investment Management and hotel operator InterContinental Hotels Group, beat out four other bidders for the right to lease the parcel from the airport authority. The owners pay a base rent of SGD 250,000 (US$173,000) annually plus a percentage of revenue. The land lease runs through 2083.
By the time the marketing term “competitive advantage” came to be applied to urban design and development, Singapore—a progressive modernist city-state and Southeast Asia’s model free-market economy— already was ahead of the world. Singapore not only had a strategically inclined urban development structure, it had in place a program to protect, refurbish, and reuse its cultural heritage. If an ability to manage its complex urban infrastructure gives a city a competitive advantage, Singapore has as much as any.
In the island republic of Singapore, 90 percent of the 4 million population live in apartments. And foreigners may purchase only condominiums—they are barred from owning detached houses. Given this situation, and given the popularity of private outdoor space in multifamily buildings in this tropical nation, it is no wonder that Glentrees has been wildly successful with its offerings of two- to four-bedroom condominiums, each with the option of a small garden, even at the ﬁfth story.
The neighborhood Nassim Hill was the favored residential enclave of the British colonials who used Singapore as a trading outpost until the republic gained independence in 1965. Close to downtown, this area also beneﬁts from a high elevation and sea breezes that temper the tropical climate. Embassies make their home here and Orchard Road, the commercial connector to downtown Singapore, is nearby, making Nassim Hill a convenient residential location.
With 4.9 million people sharing 710 square kilometers (274 sq mi)—most of it heavily urbanized—Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The Singapore government faces a challenge in maintaining high quality of life and offering suitable recreational opportunities in this increasingly dense environment. At Southern Ridges—a nine-kilometer (5.6-mi) chain of open spaces connecting three existing hill parks—the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore has managed to create a contiguous nature preserve in an environment with limited open space.