Redesigning the skyline

Wednesday 01 Aug 2012

UNStudio release design for 'V on Shenton', aiming to revamp Singapore's skyline

UNStudio has designed the new UIC Building, which will be called ‘V on Shenton’ along Shenton Way, Singapore, in the heart of the Central Business District. This dual aspect pair of conjoined towers comprises a 23-storey office building which remains in line with its neighbours and a soaring 53-storey pillar of residential units which has been conceptualised to ‘distinguish itself’ from the surrounding buildings. A third sky lobby in this residential community marks a change to the internal layout with a split core.

‘V on Shenton’ will comprise part of a major redevelopment of the former UIC Building, which dominated the skyline as Singapore’s tallest building for many years since its completion in 1973. The facades take the basic shape of a hexagon, which is used to create patterns that increase the performance of the facades with angles and shading devices that are responsive to the climatic conditions of Singapore. Along with systematic material variations, these geometric panels add texture and cohesion to the building, whilst reflecting light and shade.

Ben van Berke, lead architect on the project, commented: “The pattern of the façade comprises four to five different textures, each varying depending on the programme. At times the glass of the façade creates texture through the relief effect and the coloured side lighting, whilst the volumetric balconies of the residences create a deep texture in the total volume of the building.“

Each tower is framed by chamfers; a line that unifies the composition of the residential tower, the office tower and the plinth. During daytime the chamfer appears smooth in contrast to the textured surfaces of the towers. At night the chamfer lights up as a continuous line- framing building. Wayfinding is enhanced by thin steel lines traced onto the floors which act as guidance for visitors to the building and correspond with strips of light on the ceiling.

Aspects of sustainability have been seamlessly integrated into the design, with shading devices in the façade systems and high performance glass helping to sustain a liveable façade. Sky gardens offer verdant green spaces for residents and employees in a buzzing high-density city and provide fresher, cleaner air through natural vegetation. The residents of the penthouse levels will also have exclusive access to the outdoor roof terraces.

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