Buro Ole Scheeren, Beijing
The design for Singapore’s DUO towers subtracts circular carvings from the allowable building volumes in a series of concave movements that generate urban spaces. By approaching the massing through a subtractive process, the elevations of the new towers are reduced to slender profiles. Vertical façades rise skywards along the adjoining roads, while a net-like hexagonal pattern of sunshades across the skin of the towers forms intricate honeycomb texture that not only hints at the hive-like activity of the surroundings, but also serves as a functional element in the building’s environmental strategy. The honeycomb comprises a series of hexagonal sunshades that help protect the towers from the heat and glare of the sun, without interrupting the views out over Singapore’s gardens, ocean and skyline.
While its two towers contain the main functional elements, the structures dematerialize as they reach the ground, opening out into a porous public landscape. The plaza is open to the public 24 hours a day and mixes a series of gardens and landscaped leisure zones, which are linked to the rest of the city through multiple connections above and below ground.
DUO demonstrates how a landmark building can be sensitively embedded within a civic context and how form can be simultaneously performative and sculptural. These spaces integrate the neighboring buildings, while creating a vibrant and diverse landscape of public exploration.