5 Reasons Why Duo Residences Is An Architectural Feat
December 8, 2017 | BY Hong Xinying
This residential tower houses plenty of surprising details within and out.
Standing tall amidst the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct, the Duo Singapore complex makes an impressive sight. Conceptualised by architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren which led the project, the mixed-use development features two pairs of towers that house Duo Residences, the recently opened boutique hotel Andaz Singapore as well as offices and a collection of retail and dining options. But what would it be like living within this complex? Here, we take a closer look at the design of the residential tower and some of the apartments situated within the development:
Master of design
Conceptualised by Ole Scheeren, the lead designer of Büro Ole Scheeren, the soaring towers of Duo Singapore feature a net-like hexagonal cladding, with concave voids that make the slender structures appear as if they were partially dematerialising towards the ground level. The result: a distinctive new landmark in the Bugis precinct that’s definitely unmissable; you’ll be hard pressed to find a driver who can’t find their way to this new property.
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Besides being an architectural marvel, these sculptural voids have also been designed to house green alcoves throughout the development—the size of these outdoor spaces add up to the equivalent of the site area. The hotel features elevated terraces accessible to guests; the office area features a public observation deck and a rooftop restaurant; while the residential areas feature landscaped gardens at the ground floor as well as on the rooftop and elevated terraces.
For residents, this means looking out to panoramic views of the city from their apartment, with easy access to pockets of greenery just steps away from their doorstep. The communal areas on four floors at levels two, three, 20 and 31, feature foliage and shrubbery, next to Jacuzzis, water gyms, pools and other facilities.
The green details go beyond the flourishing foliage. This eco-conscious development has been designed to meet the benchmark set by Singapore’s Building & Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Scheme, which promotes the sustainable development of the city’s built environment. This includes the building’s energy-efficient water plant and rainwater harvesting systems, as well as orientation and concave massing—the latter have been designed to optimise the natural ventilation of its indoor and outdoor spaces.
The sculptural elements of the building’s architecture is reflected indoors as well, leading to varied floor plans for the apartments, depending on their location within the property. Take the showflat designed by local practice Gabriel Tan Studio, for instance, which chose to embrace the building’s unusual proportions.
“Taking inspiration from the building’s contrast of soft curves and its hexagonal facade, we used some of such geometrical details in the treatment of the timber walls, to create something organic and wavy,” explains Gabriel Tan, founder of the eponymous firm. “This contrast between old and new, geometry and curves, creates something eclectic that also works together harmoniously. We also have rectilinear elements in the shelving and frames.”
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The building’s unusual layout also encourages a truly customised approach to designing the interior of each apartment—such that it truly becomes uniquely its own. At a showflat by Singapore interdisciplinary design practice Farm, the local firm took a different approach to the building’s unusual geometry. Imagined as the home of a couple who loves to entertain, this four-bedroom apartment features dark wood cladding that wraps around its living and dining areas, softening and concealing the angular lines of its irregular corners.
Instead of keeping the layout as it, the design firm also converted the junior master suite into a plush eight-seater dining area, equipped with a wine cellar as well as a stylish powder room. “What we wanted to imagine how a family would host people, and wine and dine—so we created a very generous dining area for the apartment,” says Selwyn Low, director of Farm. Its centrepiece: an eight-seater dining setting, entirely decked out in Italian furniture brand Maxalto.
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