Just last month, 18 excited Ellivians embarked on a whirlwind study tour to Singapore, immersing themselves in a smorgasbord of world-class tropical architecture.
To experience the best in tropical design and lifestyle the team stayed in the award winning Park Royal on Pickering1. What an amazing hotel!
Cascading gardens extend up all the levels of the building creating a vertical forest. On the journey to your room you experience the smells, sounds and warmth of Singapore via open air walkways.
Our opulent lodgings set the bar high for the rest of the tour.
Park Royal on Pickering by WOHA Architects
[ DAY 1 ]
We hit the ground running, starting with a hop on-hop off bus tour to familiarise ourselves with the metropolis and educate ourselves a little on the history of Singapore. We visited the South Beach Tower2, the Botanical Gardens and Ion Mall.
Mr Mok Wei Wei of W-Architects was kind enough to walk us through a “display flat” at The Oliv apartment tower, carrying a price tag of $6 million SGD. Mr Mok Wei Wei explained to us the design and planning fundamentals which made the building possible. The green facades included palm trees on every level, providing privacy and shade whilst giving back to the community visually.
The size and design of the units internally was equally as interesting, including the maid’s quarters and a “safe room” in case of a natural disaster.
Space Asia Hub Showroom
[ DAY 2 ]
The second day was jam-packed with buildings by WOHA, a practice at the forefront of innovation in Singapore. We were treated to a visit to WOHA’s office and the intimate audience with Director Mr Mun Sum Wong who candidly spoke to us about their design approach and gave a synopsis of their new book “Garden City Mega City”.
The book outlines five criteria they believe are fundamental to a successful Garden City. One criteria resonated was the idea of a project being a ‘good citizen’ in how it relates back to the end user and the broader city.
We were also delighted to check out Space Furniture’s showroom with a tour and a fantastic Yum Cha lunch in a local restaurant.
Marina Bay Sands Precinct
[ Day 3 ]
Day three saw Ellivo experiencing the sights and sounds of the Marina Bay Precinct. This reclaimed land includes the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel3 and adjoining Shopping Centre, Art Science Museum, floating Louis Vuitton store, and the magnificent Gardens By the Bay4.
Gardens By The Bay was a welcomed relief from the architecture overload. It is a fantastic asset to the city, funded in part by the proceeds from the casino. The precinct includes extensive gardens and two unbelievable green houses, incorporating a four storey high waterfall.
No visit to Singapore would be complete without a visit to the iconic roof top bars at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with its incredible views and even more incredible pool.
After crossing the Helix Bridge5, Haji Lane was the next stop for a well-deserved cold beverage, a slower pace and a look at a different side of Singapore. Peppered with little shops, bars and lots of people, it was a great way to wind up the day before a team dinner.
Skyville @ Dawson by WOHA Architects
[ Day 4 ]
The final day in Singapore included a variety of activities, cultural experiences and more buildings. Raffles Hotel was popular for a Signature Singapore Sling to finish off the trip and a polite nod to our colonial heritage.
It goes without saying that the team thoroughly enjoyed our Singapore study tour. We learnt a great deal about how Singapore is embracing tropical design, incentives provided by the planning authorities, the divide between rich and poor, and the benefits of designing a building which is a “good citizen”.
A melting pot of ground breaking architecture amongst the remnants of colonial British facades, Singapore is truly a city of juxtaposition.
Check out our Singapore Study Tour Movie for more!
Article written by Daniel Russell.
1 WOHA Architects
2 Foster + Partners
3 Safdie Architects
4 Grant Associates and Wilkinson Eyre
5 Cox Architecture