Faye Chalmers
Tuesday 14 Jul 2015

As the very first in our new awards programme dedicated to architecture in Asia, this has been a particularly special one to us here at WAN. It aims to celebrate the spectacular new residential designs we have been seeing emanating from the East in recent times. Now, a diverse range of award entries has been whittled down to the final outstanding six.

Our esteemed panel of judges comprised Lell Barnes, Principal & Design Director of John Portman & Associates; Peicheng Ju, Vanke’s Chief Architect and Deputy General Manager; Dr Xiangning Li, Deputy Dean and Full Professor in History, Theory and Criticism at the Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Rong Lu, Chief Project Director & Partner, schmidt hammer lassen architects, and Dr Ken Yeang, Principal of T R Hamzah & Yeang Sdn Bhd.

They were asked to take into account how each design addressed the key challenges in the brief, and whether it evolved or pushed the boundaries of the typology. Speaking for the panel, Lell Barnes explains that drawing up the shortlist was a tough call. “All of the projects demonstrated worthy attributes, yet there were eight that reached a higher plateau. To reach the six finalists, with some reluctance we omitted two of our eight favourites. All six selected projects demonstrate concise reactions to their various given programs, while stimulating the cultural contexts and sensitivities of their communities.”

Here are those six amazing projects in alphabetical order…

d’Leedon Singapore by Zaha Hadid Architects comprises seven residential towers, 12 semi-detached villas and integrated landscaping with recreation facilities. The choreographed position of the towers taper inwards as they reach the ground to optimise public space. A unique petal-shaped layout allows for windows on three sides of the apartments to give the highest quality of living for all residents, while varied balcony geometries and integrated landscaping all contribute towards a project defined by its site conditions and context.

Goodwood ResidenceSingapore by WOHA Architects is set amidst an enclave of colonial black and white bungalows just off the prime Orchard/Scotts Road area with its 20-hectare backdrop of magnificent conserved trees. The 210-unit Goodwood Residence is conceived as an extension of the Goodwood Hill conservation area. Organised as two 12-storey L-shaped blocks, the development frames the view to the hill through an operable tropical façade. All blocks are one apartment thick, configured as garden walls that define and enclose a series of courtyards. 

Sanctuary @ GeylangSingapore by ONG&ONG is a boutique condominium with an elegantly simple multi-functional façade on a relatively narrow plot. The eight-storey structure makes full use of the land area, but accounts for the need for a green space for residents to enjoy. Thus, owners can come home to a quaint garden entrance that shares the ground floor space with a communal access area. Each unit is equipped with a generous balcony, encircled with steel metal mesh to give the façade a sophisticated modern look, while the timber deck adds a comforting tropical Asian feel to each unit. The steel mesh screen also has a sun-shading function and can be closed or opened throughout the day. 

Siamese GioiaBangkok by Somdoon Architects consists of two, 7-storey blocks with 168 units. The apartment floors were lifted to create space on the ground floor for landscaping, ’waterscaping’, and shaded shared spaces to flow beneath both blocks. An additional shared space is allocated on the roof in the form of a planted roof garden. Air is drawn up from the cool, ground floor area, across the shaded surfaces of the ‘waterscaping’, and up via glass-roofed atriums located in the heart of each block. The glass roofs above the atriums provide large amounts of natural daylight to the innermost areas of the apartment blocks. 

Siamese RatchakruBangkok by Somdoon Architects is a project that has transformed a pair of residential towers born of an abandoned project in a newly developing district of Bangkok. Consequently, the position of the columns was prescribed, restricting the width of the internal spaces. Previously designed with a flat façade, the design is improved by increasing the outer skin of the building, and maximising the usable space of each apartment. The 15-storey live/work tower is close to the public interface, the main road and the BTS Skytrain. Tucked behind the live/work tower is the high-density 28-storey residential tower.

West Zhenga TownShanghai by DC Alliance is a comprehensive community block, adjacent to Zhujiajiao Watertown Historic District not far from Shanghai. The town is made up of two parts; residential only and residential combined with commercial. Facing a huge challenge, DC Alliance designed the town to meet the modern commercial needs of the inhabitants, which preserving the historic cultural values of community living in the architecture. The end result is an enhancement of the local peoples’ cultural identity and a stunningly historic, yet contemporary design.

The winner will be announced at the evening reception & exhibition on Thursday 23rd July from 6pm at the Matsu Showroom in Shanghai. For more information or to RSVP, please contact

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