Marina One, Singapore

Ingenhoven Architects with Architects 61

As an international role model for living and working, Marina One, Singapore makes an innovative contribution to the discourse on mega-cities, especially in tropical regions, which, in the context of increasing population and climate change, face enormous challenges. The high-density building complex with its mix of uses extends to over 400,000sqm. Four high-rise buildings define a ‘Green Heart’ – a shared public space extending over several stories. This three-dimensional green oasis reflects the diversity of tropical flora.

The four high-rise buildings accommodate office, residential and retail functions and have been rated under the Green Mark Platinum and LEED Platinum schemes. The organic shape of the building complex (with its iconic louvres) was inspired by paddy field terraces. The public spaces are not add-ons to the project but form an integral part of the architecture.

The Green Heart is the largest public landscaped area in the Marina Bay CBD, and provides 125 per cent of the site’s original surface area. The interaction between the buildings and the garden (which was designed with landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman) facilitates natural ventilation and generates an agreeable microclimate and a new habitat. The multi-storey three-dimensional garden contains over 350 different types of trees and plants, including 700 trees, on a landscaped area of 37,000sqm. The landscape mimics a green valley with variations in climate according to level. Restaurants and cafés, retail areas, a fitness club, pool, supermarket, food court and events areas on the different open terraces not only provide products and services to the residents, office workers and visitors; they also create places for social interaction.

The compact and efficient layout is complemented by energy-saving ventilation systems, external solar screening devices, and glazing that reduces solar radiation into the building. Direct connections to four of Singapore’s mass rapid transport lines, bus stops, bicycle parking facilities, and electro-mobile charging stations ensure that exhaust emissions caused by private transport are significantly reduced. The colour scheme of the interior and the building facade features calm and earthy bronze shades in order to support the harmonious atmosphere.

Marina One sits on reclaimed land, and the development of the area continues. The more the new financial district spreads, the closer Marina One will come to being the centre point. That’s why Ingenhoven Architects recommended a project with a very strong centre that can still be a centre in 20 years when everywhere around it and beyond is built up. The concept of a conglomerate of buildings was derived. They are recognisable as four buildings but are naturally related to one another both architecturally and materially and generate a strong overall figure around the Green Heart.

Photography: H.G. Esch