Heatherwick Studio has launched a 20-story residential skyscraper in Singapore, which is designed to be “a counterpoint to ubiquitous glass and steel towers”. The EDEN, the building, is 104.5 meter apartment building. Located in the Newton district of Singapore, EDEN is made up of vertical stacks of houses each with a garden.
“The project was conceived as a counterpoint to the ubiquitous glass and steel towers of much contemporary high-rise residential architecture,” said Mat Cash, group leader at Heatherwick Studio.
“Rather than isolating, hermetically sealed boxes we wanted to create open, flowing homes, raised into the sky, that connect with the lush physical environment of Singapore in an enriching, engaging and sustainable way,” he explain.
The tower block contains 20 apartments. Each apartment occupying one floor. The focal point of each four bedroom apartment is a large living area that opens onto a large balcony filled with greenery. Two smaller balconies also extend from either side of the main living area, while the two master bedrooms also open onto the balcony. All balconies are made of polished concrete to contrast with the ground-colored structural concrete and have expressive shell-like shapes that act as giant planters for the tower greenery.
“Too often balconies on residential buildings are small and inconsequential becoming nothing more than storage areas,” explained Cash.
“We wanted our balconies to invite you onto them so we created generous balconies with lush planting. The balconies are in effect giant planters, which form their shape partly in order to accommodate the soil and drainage and partly to evoke a sense of organic growth climbing the facade.”
The location of the stairs and lifts in this building is on one side of the building. This to encourage the use of outdoor space and also creating a cross ventilation. The lowest apartments are also raised 23 meters above ground, with an 18-meter-high lobby and dark green ceramic tiles swimming pool.
“By moving the cores to the back we created 270-degree views of the city and allow the apartments to be cross-ventilated in three directions. This firstly encourages you to open up the facades of the apartments for cooling, connecting you with the city, the views then draw you outside where generous balconies acting like raised gardens create the lush immersive experience of being surrounded by nature”, said Cash.
Heatherwick Studio also using natural materials such as handmade parquet floor for the apartment’s interiors. They also also designed the sinks, vanity units and tubs in the bathrooms. Since EDEN is Heatherwick Studio’s premiere residential project, the designers were eager to make it stand out from others.
“Many modern apartment blocks are sealed-off boxes that have no connection to the outside world,” said Cash.
“This was the studio’s first residential project. And it’s really important to us that the people who are going to live here feel part of the world they live in.”
“It’s really important to smell the plants after rain or see the gentle ripple of leaves as they move. It’s about creating an environment that gives people a sense of well-being and calm.”
“Singapore is known as the ‘city in a garden’,” said Cash. “It is an incredibly lush, tropical and beautiful city. We wanted to celebrate this by enjoying as close a relationship between the man-made and natural environment as possible,” he continued.