BIG completes a planted tower in Singapore with a facade that pulls apart

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The newest contribution to Singapore’s reputation as a city engaging in biophilic design is Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) CapitaSpring. The new 51-story, 920-foot-tall tower was designed in collaboration with Carlo Ratti Associati and follows a plan of “vertical urbanism.” Realized for the Singaporean real estate investment and development firm CapitaLand, the project is home to offices, residences, a hawker center, restaurants, and pedestrian-friendly ground-floor podium. The site, located in the city’s financial district, was formerly a parking garage and hawker center, a regional form of open-air food court. Now, the site is part of Singapore’s continued fast-pace vertical growth, but with a more environmentally cognizant mindset. The project includes 165 bicycle parking locations and a 1,970-foot-long cycling path which connects to the Central Area cycling network—the city’s most extensive bicycle pathway.

Elevation view of tower
The facade’s openings are meant to invite the public in. (Finbarr Fallon)

The building’s form is defined by the “pulling apart” of the building at multiple elevations, revealing its green interior containing in excess of 80,000 plants. The green elements cohere the design throughout the structure, with gardens at the base of the building, and a “sky garden” on the rooftop. There are over 90,000-square-feet of landscaped area, beginning with the grand openings of the podium and ground-floor public areas. Pathways through the gardens lead to the City Room, an 18-meter- (60-foot) tall open podium that brings in sunlight while serving practical functions for the building’s circulation. The public can access the market on the second and third floors, while the first eight floors of the tower are accessible to residents and the upper 29 floors to office workers, who have views of Marina Bay.