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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.98 Santiago abr. 2018 

Works & projects

The Interlace


It's not easy to design a complex with over a thousand apartments that doesn't look 'massive.' Through the overlapping of 31 blocks of six levels each, this project manages to combine repetition with variety, allowing the combination of a serialized element to be perceived as a unit. Thus, through a typological invention - carefully solved in all its complexities - the possibility of hosting diversity on a massive scale opens up.

Keywords: stacking; terraces; spatial structure; patio; apartment blocks

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 1 The Interlace, Singapore. 

Instead of following the default typology of housing in dense urban environments - clusters of isolated towers - the design turns vertical isolation into horizontal connectivity, generating an extensive network of private and shared social spaces in a radical reinterpretation of contemporary life in a community.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 2 The Interlace, Singapore. 

The 1,040 residential units of varying sizes - 170,000 m2 in total - are distributed among 31 apartment blocks, each six stories tall, which are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement around eight courtyards. The blocks are arranged on four main ‘superlevels’ with three ‘peaks’ of 24 stories; other superlevel stacks range from 6 to18 stories to form a stepped geometry, resembling the topography of a landscape more than a typical building.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 3 Section. N. S. The Interlace, Singapore. 

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 4 Floor plan schemes 1-20. The Interlace, Singapore. 

A system of three core types for 6, 18, and 24 stories is located at the overlap of the stacked apartment blocks. Cores typically serve 3 to 4 different units per floor, providing efficient circulation without long corridors. Core lobbies are naturally lit and ventilated, bringing daylight and fresh air into common areas. Circular ‘megacolumns’ arranged around the vertical circulation in an optimized hexagonal configuration generate the 3-way rotation of the blocks and enable a standard solution for all conditions.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 5 Underground plan with voids. N. S. 

By stacking the apartment blocks, the design generates a multiplication of horizontal surfaces populated by extensive roof gardens and landscaped terraces that in aggregate provide 112% green area - more than the size of the unbuilt site. Water bodies have been strategically placed within defined wind corridors, which allow evaporative cooling to happen along wind-paths, reducing local air temperatures and improving the thermal comfort of outdoor recreation spaces in strategic micro-climate zones. All apartments receive ample levels of daylight throughout the day while the unique massing of the project provides a sufficient level of self-shading in the courtyards, which helps maintain comfortable tropical outdoor spaces year-round and continuous usage of the courtyards and their communal functions. Extensive balconies and protruding terraces form a cascading vertical landscape across the facades and further connect the green roofs and shared public terraces between the building volumes. Overall, the project appears not only surrounded by the tropical vegetation but embedded within it.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 6 The Interlace, Singapore. 

The unusual geometry of the hexagonally stacked building blocks creates a spatial structure populated by a diverse array of activity areas. Partly resting, partly floating, the blocks hover on top of each other to form an expressive ‘interlaced’ space that connects the individual apartments.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 7. The Interlace, Singapore. 

An extensive network of communal gardens and spaces emphasizes the notion of community life within a contemporary village. The primary pedestrian route through the project leads residents from the main entrance through and to the courtyards as primary points of orientation and identification - you live in a courtyard (a space) rather than a building (an object). In this way, eight expansive courtyards and their individual landscapes are defined as the heart of the project and form distinct spatial identities. Each courtyard possesses a specific character that serves as a place-maker and spatial identifier.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 8 The Interlace, Singapore. 

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 9 The Interlace, Singapore. 

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 10 The Interlace, Singapore. 

A variety of public amenities are interwoven into the landscape, offering numerous opportunities for social interaction and shared activities. A Central Square, Theatre Plaza, and Water Park occupy the more public and central courtyards. Surrounding courtyards such as The Hills and Bamboo Garden provide shaded outdoor play and picnic areas with lower blocks around its perimeter. The Waterfall, Lotus Pond, and Rainforest Spa complete the eight main courtyards. Multiple barbeque areas, tennis and multicourts, organic garden, pet zone, and ‘the rock’ line the perimeter of the project and offer a wide selection of communal activities for residents. A continuous loop around the site provides a 1 km running track and connects the ‘internal’ courtyards to the activities around the edge of the site. Thus, the project generates a multiplicity of qualities and choices for its inhabitants and gives a sense of multi-layered richness and freedom of possibilities for living.

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 11 Block stacking. The Interlace, Singapore 

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren

Figure 12 Unit mix. The Interlace, Singapore 

Figure 13 A3.B 2 bed unit. Ground floor area: 89,89 m2; Surface area: 99,5 m2; Count: 58. Plan. Scale 1: 250 

Figure 14 B3.C 3 bed unit. Ground floor area: 123,75 m2; surface area: 136,62 m2; count: 28. Plan. Scale 1: 250 

Figure 15 C1.B 3 + 1 bed unit. Ground floor area: 152,45 m2; surface area: 192,62 m2; count: 112. Plan. Scale 1: 250 

Figure 16 F3 Penthouse. Ground floor area: 260,03 m2; surface area: 291,33 m2; count: 16. Plan. Scale 1: 250 

Figure 17 D9 Townhouse. Ground floor area: 203,19 m2; surface area: 318,12 m2; count: 16. Basement, first and second plans. Scale 1: 250 

Figure 18 F2 Penthouse. Ground floor area: 282,34 m2; surface area: 364,40 m2; count: 6. First and second plans. Scale 1: 250 

The Interlace

Architects: OMA, Ole Scheeren (Büro Ole Scheeren)

Architect of Record: RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers Pte. Ltd., Singapore

Location: Alexandra Road - Depot Road, Singapore

Client: CapitaLand Singapore Pte Ltd

Developer: CapitaLand Singapore and Hotel Properties Limited

Structural engineering: T.Y.Lin International Pte Ltd

Main contractor: Woh Hup Pte. Ltd., Singapur

Quantity Surveyor: Langdon & Seah Singapore Pte Ltd.

MEP Engineering: Squire Mech Pte Ltd., Singapur

Lighting: Lighting Planners Associates (S) Pte Ltd., Singapur

Acoustics: Acviron Acoustics Consultants Pte Ltd., Singapur

Landscaping: OMA / ICN Design International Pte Ltd., Singapur

Built surface: 170.000 m2 por nivel

Project year: 2009

Construction year: 2013

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 19 The Interlace, Singapore 

Source: © OMA Ole Scheeren. Photograph: © Iwan Baan

Figure 20 The Interlace, Singapore 

* OMA The Office for Metropolitan Architecture - OMA - is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis, whose buildings and masterplans insist on inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use. On its part AMO, its research and design studio branch, works in areas beyond architecture that today have an increasing influence on architecture itself: media, politics, renewable energy, technology, publishing, fashion. AMO often works in parallel with OMA’s clients to fertilize architecture with intelligence from this array of disciplines. OMA is led by nine partners - Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, Chris van Duijn, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Jason Long- and maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai.

** Ole Scheeren German-born architect, was educated at the universities of Karlsruhe and Lausanne, and completed his studies at London’s Architectural Association. He is currently Büro-OS’s chief designer. Among his recent projects are the MahaNakhon skyscraper in Bangkok, the DUO mixeduse towers in Singapore, and the Guardian Art Center in Beijing. Has won numerous awards, including World Building of the Year 2015 and the CTBUH Urban Habitat Award 2014 for The Interlace in Singapore, as well as the global CTBUH Best Tall Building Award 2013 for the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing. These projects are complemented by independent collaborations with filmmakers and artists, such as Archipelago Cinema (2012) and Mirage City Cinema (2013) for the Sharjah Art Foundation. Former director and partner at OMA, where he was responsible for the practice’s expansion into Asia as well as its work for Prada.

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