MKPL completes luxurious new residential complex in Singapore
When buildings verge upon the common threshold of the street, interplay of conformity and uniqueness ensues. Here, an enigmatic tower emerges neither assimilating with other typical granite clad facades nor asserting itself conspicuously, capturing the rhythmic Gestalt of a city block while embodying an elusive geometry of its own. The architects call it 'Urban PingFeng'; derived from the traditional intricately handcrafted folding partition freestanding within a spacious Chinese parlour.
The site is a narrow plot along Scotts Road, near to the vibrant district of Orchard Road. However, this exciting site had its drawbacks; a vehicle-laden frontage and proximity to neighbouring towers. Recalling the traditional PingFeng, MKPL converged on the idea of an Urban PingFeng standing in the shared room of the street. Despite being functionally different from the flanking offices and hotel, Urban PingFeng fits into the street while arousing curiosity about its spaces within. Its facade-screen moderates the urban frontier, enclosing a residential retreat where calming greenery and views are sustained. Vertical tiers of apartments interlace with garden-voids, bringing earthliness into high-rise living. The apartments are replete with balconies and planters, forming a composition of solidity, reflection and organicity. Its mass is lifted by applying Corbusian pilotis twice; firstly to raise the tower above the urban driveway designed as garden walkway, and secondly to create a communal landscape where one swims amidst the crown of trees.
Urban PingFeng began with overwhelming constraints. A noisy street front and requirements to reduce visibility towards the President’s palace nearby. The challenge of transmuting its context into luxury residential complex led MKPL to an unprecedented solution; apartments orientate away from the street frontage and towards green edges; the narrowest facade defines its identity, while its security screen vacillates as one moves along the street, adding a touch of mystique in the cityscape.