SUMMER 2018 – Who said that skyscrapers should come as completely sealed-off, air-conditioned towers? The Oasia Hotel in Singapore’s central business district combines innovative ways to intensify land use with a tropical approach that showcases a perforated, permeable, furry, verdant tower. The 190 metres tall building was designed by local office WOHA and features sky gardens and open air spaces designed by Patricia Urquiola.
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According to the architects, the aim was “to create an alternative imagery for commercial high-rise developments. It combines innovative ways to intensify land use with a tropical approach that showcases a perforated, permeable, furry, verdant tower.”
The Oasia Hotel contains four large outdoor spaces: three enormous verandas on the 6th, 12th, and 21st floor, as well as a roof terrace on 27th floor. This roof terrace is surrounded and protected by a 10-storey-high screen, covered in the same red aluminium mesh cladding as the rest of the tower. This facade will gradually be overgrown by 21 species of creepers and vines, creating a lively contrast between vibrant reds and lush greens.
Aside from the red façade – soon to be completely green – the sky gardens also offer greenery, fresh air, and opportunities for natural cross-ventilation, as well as representing the most visibly sustainable and delightful, aspects of the building.
“The sky gardens came about in response to the client’s brief, which asked for distinct parts in the hotel. Given the small footprint, we adopted what they call ‘a club sandwich approach by creating a series of different strata, each with its own sky garden. Each elevated ground levels allows the precious but limited ground floor space to be multiplied, creating generous public areas for recreation and social interaction throughout the high-rise.”
For the pools on the 21st and 27th floor, Patricia Urquiolsa has used AGROB BUCHTAL tiles from the Chroma series. The rooftop pool consists of two parts, on either side of the rooftop restaurant. Unlike most rooftop amenities in hotels, which are all about the panorama, here the city’s skyline is almost completely concealed by the vegetated screen offering a place of unexpected intimacy and tranquillity, a surprisingly oasitic escape from the bustle of the city.
All photos by Infinitude, courtesy of AGROB BUTHAL.