Plans for Singapore’s first ‘supertall’ skyscraper revealed

Written by Oscar Holland, CNNSingapore

Singapore is set to welcome its first-ever “supertall” skyscraper, a term used to describe buildings that exceed 300 meters (984 feet) in height.

The new tower, known as 8 Shenton Way, will rise above the Southeast Asian city-state from 2028, providing offices, a hotel and 34 floors of luxury residences.

Set on 1.6 million square feet of floor space, the skyscraper was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the American architects behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building .

A public square and shops will be offered on the ground floor. Credit: SOM/Bezier

Unveiling its plans on Thursday, the firm said its design was “inspired by bamboo forests”. Digital renderings show a series of cascading rectangular shapes topped with rooftop terraces. The project will include over 107,000 square feet of raised green space, with plants chosen specifically to attract birds and butterflies. More than half of the landscaped areas of the site will be accessible to the public.

“We want to create places that are comfortable, where people want to be and are healthy,” SOM design director Nic Medrano said at a press conference Thursday, adding that all occupants will be able to “access nature” on “three or four floors”. .”

The company also said 8 Shenton Way will be among the “most sustainable” skyscrapers in Asia. The 305-metre-tall (1,001ft) tower will, once in operation, consume 55% less energy than needed to achieve the local government’s highest sustainability rating, the architects said.

A digital rendering imagines the building at night.

A digital rendering imagines the building at night. Credit: SOM/Bezier

SOM design partner Mustafa Abadan said energy savings will be achieved through a combination of approaches including a terracotta facade, reinforced bamboo and high thermal efficiency glass. Horizontal and vertical fins running along the exterior of the tower will deflect sunlight, helping to keep the structure cool in Singapore’s tropical climate.

The tower will also be connected to the city’s district cooling system, an underground network of pipes that push chilled water through buildings’ air conditioning units to reduce electricity demand.

“It’s the kind of stuff that aggregates into the most sustainable building of this scale in Singapore,” Abadan told CNN at a press conference.

The tower will contain offices, a hotel and luxury residences.

The tower will contain offices, a hotel and luxury residences. Credit: SOM/Bezier

The skyscraper will be built on a site currently occupied by the AXA Cylindrical Tower, which opened in 1986. Demolition work has already begun and the new building will reuse part of the existing foundation – a move that Medrano says , “would save material”. . and reduce the building’s carbon footprint from the outset.”

Despite being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Singapore’s skyline is relatively low compared to cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Less than half the size of London, the country is home to two civilian airports and several military airbases – and there are numerous reports of a building height restriction of 280 meters (919ft) in city centres.

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) declined to say whether height restrictions are, or have ever been, imposed in the city. The planning body did not explain why 8 Shenton Way was approved at its proposed size, although a spokesperson told CNN that “allowed building heights are subject to technical requirements as well as ‘to an assessment based on the respective design and context of the site’.

Related video: A brief history of the tallest buildings in the world

To date, the only other building to exceed 280 meters is the nearby Guoco Tower, which was completed in 2018. Also designed by SOM, the skyscraper is 290 meters (951 feet) tall and contains a famously purchased penthouse apartment. by the British billionaire entrepreneur. James Dyson for S$73.8 million (then $54.2 million) in 2019.
In addition to the Burj Khalifa, SOM has also designed two of the 10 tallest buildings in the world: the CTF Finance Center in Tianjin, China, and the One World Trade Center in New York. His design for 8 Shenton Way was done in collaboration with local Singaporean firm DCA Architects.


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