At the inception of the project, the first set of design was based on the impact on the urban area after studying its surroundings. As the building is located within one of the oldest industrial clusters in Singapore—Kolam Ayer—the design team interpreted this project as one that could inspire the rejuvenation of the entire area. The task was to design a new building that could better respond to the fast-changing industrial landscape of Singapore, and its competitive working environment.
The architecture seeks to emphasise the importance of daylight and proximity to greenery, in an effort to bring the occupants closer to nature, as their well-being and productivity will be dependent on the building’s spatial configuration and comfort.
A central large courtyard and the breaking up of the volumes into scattered blocks allow the overall mass to be realised as a gentler configuration, while disguising the actual scale of the intervention. A longer perimeter also enables every unit within the building to have a direct view to the outside.
The building blocks have been rotated to achieve a more open and engaging relationship with the physical and social contexts, as well as to avoid presenting an intimidating wall-like expression along the main road. The rotation also improves the orientation with regards to solar heat gain and prevailing wind directions. To make the area more liveable and inviting, the design took on a fenceless approach to provide more accessibility for pedestrians and bicycles, so as to connect the private areas with the public domain.
The building materials have been locally procured to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction process, with all materials and sources having to comply with the stringent requirements of a GreenMark Platinum project.
CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
The first constraint was the pressure of a working timeline that resulted from the limited land lease expiry date, followed by budget constraints due to the nature of the land allocation system. Hence this project involved intensive planning in the design stage to optimise the functionality of the building and its construction process.
The proximity to the new MRT tunnel was another challenge. Structural precautions were carefully put in place, along with a study of the platform levels that allowed the basement to be open on one side, enabling better ventilation.
As the project is near to the government’s proposed revitalisation plan to rejuvenate the Kallang River district, it is important to achieve a design solution that could maximise the building’s positive impact, not only on the existing context, but also on the future planning of the area. Thus constant engagement with the authorities was important. Leveraging its close proximity to the Kallang River and to encourage alternative modes of transport by prospective tenants, the project will feature end-of-trip facilities that include secure bicycle parking and changing rooms with shower facilities. This further complements the government’s plans as part of the Kallang River rejuvenation to enhance accessibility by providing a seamless active mobility route along the river, between Bishan and the city centre. — Construction+ Online
Project Name: Solaris @ Kallang 164
Location: 164, Kallang Way, Singapore 349248
Expected Completion: June 2019
Site Area: 21,369.40 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 54,491.97 square metres
Building Height: 9 storeys;
Floor-to-floor height: 2nd storey, 9.8 metres; 3rd to 8th storey, 4.9 metres each; 9th storey: 5.075 metres
Number of Units: 73 Units and 1 Canteen (West Wing); 37 Units and 14 Labs (East Wing)
Developer: SB (Waterview) Investment Pte Ltd (a subsidiary of Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd)
Design Consultant: SEED design consultants Pte Ltd
Principal Consultant: Ermanno Cirillo
Project Architect: AC Consortium Pte Ltd
Principal Architect: Grace Young
Interior Design Firm: BD Studio Pte Ltd.
Principal Designer: Filippo Bertoni
Civil & Structural Engineer: T C Sin Consultants Pte Ltd
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Bescon Consulting Engineers Pte
Quantity Surveyor: Oliver Ho & Associates
Lighting Consultant: Klaasen Lighting Design
Landscape Architect: O2X Studio Pte Ltd
GreenMark Consultant: Building System & Diagnostics Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: Soilbuild Construction Engineering Pte Ltd (a subsidiary of Soilbuild Construction Group Ltd)
Images: Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd