The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

New Facets at Wisma Atria

More than a facelift, Wisma Atria’s striking new facade considers many ways to better engage the man on the street.

New Facets at Wisma Atria


October 25th, 2012

The landscape in Singapore’s main downtown shopping strip of Orchard Road has been undergoing a steady change recently with striking new malls taking the place of the old, and familiar retail destinations getting much needed facelifts.

Wisma Atria

One of the latest to be completed is the new faceted facade at Wisma Atria. The project is by DP Architects – the same firm responsible for its design back in 1986, and who also gave it its most recent facelift in 2004.

Wisma Atria

The new Wisma Atria facade is notably the first project on Orchard Road to take advantage of a 2009 code amendment permitting increased articulation to encourage street engagement.

Wisma Atria

“Gems in the rough” was the inspiration for the dynamic crystalline form, which frames the newly created double and triple-volume storefronts for optimum visual impact.

The design augments street visibility and responds to patterns of human movement through the site. The high-visibility faceted glass wrapping is articulated to extend 7.5m from the original structure. It projects an additional 3m beyond the former blue frame and gestures towards the MRT station. Grand steps also lifts the mall onto a pedestal, drawing shoppers from the Orchard Road sidewalk.

Wisma Atria

The faceted glass storefronts meet a structural cladding in matte-aluminium finish. And to continue the reference to the mall’s earliest form, the backdrop facade on the mall’s upper levels is clad in blue horizontal strips of hollow channel.

Wisma Atria

The design has also carefully considered other ways to further engage the site’s high-frequency circulation afforded by the adjacent MRT station. The main entrance has been realigned on-centre with interior circulation; sunken basement-level programming has been closed to establish a uniform podium as a refined seam linking promenade space with the mall, and flexible enough to double as a multipurpose event area; and new ramps have been incorporated to channel pedestrians arriving from the MRT station and flanking malls directly to Wisma Atria’s retail spaces.

Since its establishment in 1967, DP Architects has designed and retrofitted some 20 buildings on Orchard Road. Other recently completed projects along this main shopping artery include Paragon shopping centre, Grand Park Orchard, Orchard Central and Mandarin Gallery. The firm is currently engaged in Addition and Alteration work for The Heeren.

DP Architects

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed