Photo: by Patrick Bingham-Hall

CASE STUDY: 3 December 2009 – Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA has won multiple awards for its sustainable designs. Following is a profile of Newton Suites which was recently recognised for its sustainability achievements by the Australian Institute of Architects.

This 36-storey development is a study in environmental solutions to tropical high-rise living. The design integrates several sustainable devices into a contemporary architectural composition, creating a sustainable, contemporary addition to the city skyline.

The building sits at the edge of a high-rise zone and fronts a height-controlled area that affords expansive views of the central nature reserves; a rare luxury in densely built Singapore.

The exterior of the tower uses sunshading elements, patterned planes of textured panels and protruding balconies to create a facade that is functional yet expressive. The horizontal, metal expanded mesh sunshading screens the strong tropical sunlight. The angled mesh prevents insolation while permitting visual connection to the ground. The angled expanded mesh changes appearance with viewpoint, appearing anywhere between solid and transparent. This, combined with the cast shadows and interference patterns between the shadows and the mesh, gives the building a constantly shifting, blurred appearance depending on angle and time of day.  The layers of sunshading screens also changes the reading of the projections of the bay windows, a standard applied feature of Singapore apartments due to their contribution to developer profit and prescriptive regulations, embedding them in the language of the building.

Protruding sky gardens and balconies combined with sunshading screens create outdoor living environments that are sheltered with ample cross-ventilation due to its elevated location and are particularly suited for the hot tropical climate.

Photo: by Patrick Bingham-Hall

Landscape is used as a material: rooftop planting, skygardens and green walls were incorporated into the design from the very beginning. Creeper screens are applied to otherwise blank walls to create visual delight, absorb sunlight and carbon and create oxygen in the dense environment. Most available horizontal and vertical surfaces are landscaped; creating an area of landscaping that is 130 per cent (110 per cent planted) of the total site.  Trees cover the carpark, project from the skygardens at every four levels and crown the building at the penthouse roof decks. The above ground carpark uses far less energy than an underground carpark and is fully enclosed with creepers, absorbing exhaust emissions. The carpark roof houses a substantial clubhouse with gym, steam room, party areas and 25m swimming pool with a glass overflow edge.

The end-user experiences panoramic views foregrounded by sky gardens and greenery, bringing the indoor-outdoor potential of living in the tropics into the sky, and bring this to a sector of the community who cannot afford landed housing. Common skygardens create delight at every lift lobby, turning the wait for the lift in the rush to work into a brief contact with fresh air, trees and sky.  The two penthouses include swimming pools with double volume mesh pergolas.

The environmental elements added to liveable apartments and extensive communal areas combine to make a unique tropical building that achieves both Singapore’s national vision for a green city and an improved living environment for the inhabitants.

Project TitleNewton Suites, Singapore
Project Location60 Newton Road Singapore 307994
Project DatesDesign Inception: 01 December 2003

Start of Construction: 15 October 2004

Completed: 30 June 2007

CSC: 12 December 2008

Project Cost$ 23,500,000.00
Project SizeGross Floor Area: 11,834.93sqm

Plot Area: 3,842.51sqm

ArchitectsWOHA Architects Pte Ltd

Project Team:

Alen Low

Andrew MacLennan

Ang Chow Hwee

Chan Ee Mun

Eow Wan Lin

Goh Soon Kim

Janita Han

Johan Hermijanto

Melinda Song

Pham Sing Yeong

Richard Hassell

Sabrina Foong

Tang Chia Ling

Wong Mun Summ

ClientUOL Group Limited
Mechanical & Electrical Engr

Civil & Structural Engr

Quantity Surveyors

Landscape Consultant

Lincolne Scott Ng Pte Ltd

LBW Consultants

KPK Quantity Surveyors Pte Ltd

Cicada Pte Ltd

Client: UOL
Location: Newton Circle, Singapore
Architect: WOHA
Project Value: S$35m
Completion Date: May 2008
Services: Mechanical, Electrical, Hydraulic / Plumbing, Vertical Transportation, Fire, ACMV System

– 2009 Green Good Design Award Winner
– 2008 Gold Award Design for Asia Awards
– 2008 The International Highrise Award Finalist
– 2008 Award for International Architecture Winner, Australian Institute Architects
– 2007 Silver Award Winner, Emporis Skyscraper Awards

The multi-award winning Newton Suites is a contemporary, sustainable 36 story high-rise urban residential development in Singapore which address the disadvantage of divorcing tenants from landscape ground in high-rise living by bringing the garden to the sky.

A breathtaking statement on Singapore’s skyline it boasts significant environmentally sustainable design (ESD) which includes an impressive 130% landscape site coverage by creating vertical gardens up the building’s facade.

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