Photo by Choo Yut Shing via Foter.com
If you’ve been hiking the green leafy belt that stretches between Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah Hill and Mount Faber Park, you will come across a condominium complex that may just make you stop for a second look.
The right angles
At The Interlace, apartment blocks are stacked in a seemingly haphazard way, twisting at angles so that they do not form a straight line. Each of the 31 blocks are identical in height, standing at six-storeys tall.
The effect is unusual yet pleasing to the eye, with the odd jutting corners providing space for lush roof gardens, sky terraces and large balconies with cascading greenery.
It’s certainly unlike anything you’ve seen before in Singapore. This was designed by German architect Ole Scheeren, known for conceptualising some of the world’s most head-turning buildings, like the CCTV headquarters in Beijing.
Scheeren’s plan was to break away from the usual form of the skyscraper. So he turned the vertical into the horizontal, breaking a building into blocks and rotating them at different angles such that each block would have privacy and a different view.
The hexagonal arrangement also ensures that occupants can enjoy a balance between private and public spaces, preserving individuality even as it fosters a strong sense of community.
His groundbreaking vision may yet prove to set a precedent for many, seeking to balance the demands of space and privacy in increasingly dense cities, where both qualities are fast becoming a luxury.