St. Thomas Suites

30 Mar 2011

SAA Architects present their organically sculpted towers...

The Concept: Together with MMA, St. Thomas Suites was conceived in consideration of its prestigious location within the Orchard Road precinct, and in harmony with its hilly terrain surrounded by several mature trees. The project sits on a topography that was on the brink of being overshadowed by the prevalent formulaic solution of residential towers. As a counterpoint, the concept sought a visible translation of the terrain by carving out communal spaces layered with the contours, upon which a pair of organically sculpted towers rise to define the skyline.

Integrating the Ground level with the Natural Terrain: The design capitalizes on the existing green surrounding and undulating landscape, which forms the guiding principle for place-making and long-term sustainability goals. The building section is designed to integrate with the existing contours and ground levels to cleverly hide the basement car park from view, and yet allowing for maximum ventilation, daylighting and views to the surrounding greenery via a series of terracing platforms and slopes covered with dense planting. The implementation of gardens and views through setbacks and cut-out openings create an enhanced spatial quality of lightness, airiness and transparency.

The Double-Skin Facade of the Curvilinear Towers: The curved facade maximizes views and light transmittance, while creating a feeling of oneness with the cityscape. Functionally, the facade skin is a response to the tropical climate, where passive energy systems were employed extensively - the extension of the balcony's ‘parapet wall' to the floor below function as an effective sun-shading device, and the design of deep balconies serve as overhangs to shelter from the rain. The concept of the ‘double skin' façade is articulated with a ‘glass skin' at the balcony edge which wraps and accentuates the dynamic form of the tower, serving the dual function as a safety barrier as well as a green feature.

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