Heatherwick Studio's residential tower overflows with greenery
Back in the 1960s, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew introduced his vision to turn Singapore into a "city in a garden." Over the decades this goal has led to projects like the Kampung Admiralty and Oasia Hotel, as well as a remarkable new residential high-rise tower by Heatherwick Studio, which features balconies that are covered in greenery.
Eden is located in Singapore's Orchard Road neighborhood and was commissioned by Swire Properties. The 104.5 m (342 ft) building contains 20 luxury apartments – just one on each floor.
During the design process, Heatherwick Studio drew inspiration from Singapore's natural landscape. The firm worked with fabricators to produce molds for the exterior's concrete panels, which are embossed with an outline of the high-rise and its immediate surroundings. The overall color was also carefully chosen, with over 100 shades of deep red, purple, and brown tested under the Singapore sun to find the right one.
"Looking beyond the luxury glass towers found in cities across the world, the design team saw the potential of concrete to create something unique, which could enclose more private spaces and reflect a sense of place," says Heatherwick Studio. "Concrete also contributes to the building's environmental strategy, as its mass blocks warm air to aid natural cooling. Instead of casting a flat concrete facade, Heatherwick Studio wanted to bring the material to life and give it tactility and a texture that couldn't be seen anywhere else in the world."
Visitors enter the building by passing through a large entrance lined with black granite to find an 18-m (60-ft) lobby hung with living "plant chandeliers." Throughout the interior, imperfections have been retained, such as natural patterns in the limestone and saw marks left visible in the handmade wooden flooring.
The apartment interiors are finished with high-end materials like exposed timber in the oak kitchen cabinets and a walnut entranceway. Each apartment is shaded by a balcony and has large windows that open on three sides to promote cross-ventilation. The glazing is also set back to reduce solar heat gain.
Source: Heatherwick Studio