With a little ‘green ingenuity’, AgFacadesign deftly turns a stark atrium into a lively and stimulating space.
August 18th, 2011
158 Cecil Street used to be a modest building in a sea of commercial skyscrapers along Singapore’s Central Business District.
Built in 1984, it was designed to be environmentally responsive where receding floor plates and external RC planters provided shading.
Over the years, commercial changes have led to A&A works to optimise the site’s potential.
The latest project involved adding 4 floors to the 10-storey building, supported by a new 1.5-storey high transfer-floor structure spanning over 40 metres across the depth of the building’s floor plate. The result was a new facade with an external recessed atrium juxtaposed against the existing receding floor plates.
Although the use of wire mesh in the new facade met local fire authority requirements, aesthetically it did meet the client’s expectations.
AgFacadesign was thus challenged to come up with a creative solution to make the facade and atrium more inviting for tenants.
The primary objective, according to AgFacadesign’s principal architect Kelvin Kan, was to maintain the atrium as an ’external space’ without the need for any fire fighting provisions such as sprinklers and smoke detectors.
With that in mind, the team has designed a unique ’layered’ facade using alternating full-height glass panels spaced wide apart. The resulting gaps between the staggered glass sheets (clipped onto the sides of steel mullions) bring a good amount of natural ventilation and light into the atrium.
To inject more life into the stark and sombre looking atrium space, a ’hanging garden’ – which can be seen from most office floors – has also been introduced.
Two 7-storey high green walls are positioned on either ends of the atrium with 2 intermediate green columns stretching from level 2 to 10. A total of 13,000 pots of plants are mounted onto metal frames – water tanks feed each one through individual drip tubes via an automated irrigation system, though the opened facade also allows some rain to drizzle through.
Disused RC planters have also been reinstated with draping money plants while glass floor panels on level 3 provide visual connectivity to the pavement and road level below.
As the atrium’s orientation offers only limited sunlight during the day, artificial ’growth lights’ have been strategically mounted to ensure all plants receive their full lighting needs.
By night, architectural accent lights make the striking green landscape clearly visible through the layered glass facade.
Though not intended, birds, butterflies and dragonflies have also become frequent ’guests’ to this unexpected hanging garden in the city!
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
The Sub-Zero Wolf showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne provide a creative experience unlike any other. Now showcasing all-new product ranges, the showrooms present a unique perspective on the future of kitchens, homes and lifestyles.
Herman Miller expands its flagship workplace range with new products designed to enhance productivity – and the delight of working anywhere, in any way.
Located in the gallery precinct of Vienna’s historic old town, the V-ZUG brand display team set out to do something different for a new market, and the outcome is breathtaking.
Sub-Zero and Wolf’s prestigious Kitchen Design Contest (KDC) has celebrated the very best in kitchen innovation and aesthetics for three decades now. Recognising premier kitchen design professionals from around the globe, the KDC facilitates innovation, style and functionality that pushes boundaries.
Desks that are height adjustable did not always exist. So where did they come from? Why are they so important? And where are we now in terms of development?
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is launching a major publication – ‘Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery: The First 40 Years – alongside a corresponding exhibition.
Besotted with the rare and unusual, Imogen Reed has created a tapas restaurant in Sydney’s Potts Point, that feels at once ghostly and opulent.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
UNStudio, in collaboration with Chinese information and communications technology firm, Huawei, has unveiled the design for a new flagship store in Shanghai.
Cox Architecture’s design for the Cairns Convention Centre takes a thoughtful approach to shading and detailing with Verosol blinds.
The Vietnamese architect discusses insatiable construction markets and dwindling urban ecologies. For the latter, he recommends bamboo; for the former, meditation.