A legacy of modernity

Wednesday 31 Oct 2012

After 25 years, Tange Associates completes second tower at One Raffles Place

In 2006, Overseas Union Bank (OUB) launched its project for an 'Annexe Building' (Tower 2) and 'Additions & Alternations to the Existing Main Tower' (Tower 1) following a plot-ratio increase in Singapore's planning regulations. The new and old towers are now collectively known as One Raffles Place.

The site is located in Raffles Place, the most important area of the Central Business District. Therefore, it was essential to consider the relationship among the high-rise towers of the city's iconic skyline. The design challenge was to place a companion tower next to Tower 1, designed by founder Kenzo Tange 25 years ago, that could both stand on its own and complement the existing tower.

Tange Associates petitioned the authorities for a transfer of Tower 1's allocable GFA to Tower 2, proposing a reconfiguration of the site conditions. It would mean a taller building proportionally balanced with Tower 1 and, equally important, Tower 1's original architectural design preserved without alteration. In designing Tower 2, the architects were not concerned with maintaining the same language as Tower 1, but rather with the spirit of Kenzo Tange.

Accordingly, the 'design rhythm' of Tower 1's triangular volumetric motif was adapted and incorporated into Tower 2. In contrast to Tower 1's powerful and ‘solid’ aluminum façade, Tower 2 has a more delicate glass façade creating an open, airy impression. The façade treatment of Tower 2 needed to be deferential of Tower 1 and at the same time user-friendly.

Due to its transparency, glass was selected as it allows the Tower's riverside location to optimise views of the Singapore River, while in the evening the glass façade lights up the night sky of the CBD district. The building has been awarded Singapore's Green Mark Platinum Award for its sustainability features, including solar panels, coated glass and shading louvers.

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