Singapore reaches new heights with bamboo-inspired skyscraper
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has revealed plans for Singapore's new tallest skyscraper. Named 8 Shenton Way, the ambitious mixed-use building will feature a greenery covered exterior inspired by bamboo forests and a design focus meant to ensure a healthy environment in a post-COVID-19 workplace.
The building will be located on a prominent position near Marina Bay and will reach a height of 305 m (1,000 ft), meaning it will easily surpass the current tallest building in Singapore, SOM's Guoco Tower, which is 284 m (931 ft). In addition to its overall design being inspired by bamboo forests, it will actually make use of engineered bamboo, as well as terracotta, glass and concrete. A series of garden terraces will be filled with greenery too.
"The building facade is characterized by natural materials – champagne-colored terracotta and bamboo along the walls of the sky gardens – with curved edges that create bay windows on nearly every floor, offering vast sightlines of the city and the sea," said SOM. "In the lobby, wood, stone, and terracotta finishes flank artwork and a reflecting pool, with a multi-floor atrium framing the space above. Landscaped gardens are located throughout the height of the tower, giving building occupants ample room for an outdoor escape in the sky.
"There are seven terraces altogether, including one for the hotel floors and three for the residential levels. Carved out of the building every five to six floors, the gardens bring light, air, and natural ventilation to prioritize wellbeing. The residences are placed at the highest levels of the tower, where occupants will enjoy the most impressive views."
Its interior will have 148,000 sq m (roughly 1.6 million sq ft) of floor space, spread over 63 floors. This will be split between offices, public spaces, retail space, as well as the hotel and luxury residences already mentioned. Its so-called "post-pandemic" features will include the use of contactless technology like automatically opening doors, antimicrobial materials (though not specifically mentioned by SOM, copper handrails are a typical example of this), a focus on maximizing natural air flow and air filtration, and the installation of multiple outdoor work spaces.
SOM will reduce the project's CO2 output by reusing parts of the existing foundation and infrastructure already located on the site from a previous skyscraper – named AXA Tower, which is notable for being the world's tallest cylindrical building – that is being demolished. Furthermore, the new tower's facade will be finished in glazing designed to reduce solar heat gain, recyclable materials will also be used, and some of the greenery will be chosen specifically to attract birds and butterflies. The skyscraper will connect to Singapore's existing pedestrian network and offer links to nearby train stations. Bicycle and electric vehicle parking will be available too.
The 8 Shenton Way project is being developed by Perennial Holdings Private Limited and a consortium of investors. DCA Architects of Singapore is also involved. The project is scheduled for completion in 2028.