Integrating communal living and nature within living spaces, this unique creation indeed redefines dense urban living in Singapore.
Words by Isabelle Pinto
Photography by Iwan Baan
The island state of Singapore, although a very tiny one, is well-known throughout the world as a highly advanced and developed city with modern infrastructure and architecture lining its cityscape. Being a very small city, its urban environment is dense with many tall buildings and skyscrapers spanning across its entire land area. Even most of its residential developments are high-rises with apartments, flats and condominiums being some of the most popular forms of housing among Singaporeans. And amidst these conventional and typical forms of high-rises stands the Interlace, a groundbreaking and innovative architectural design by German architect, Ole Scheeren.
Also known as “Vertical Village”, the Interlace is an extensive high-rise residential development comprising 31 apartment blocks, each six-storey tall, which are stacked on top of one another in a unique hexagonal or “beehive” arrangement, creating eight generous courtyards. Completed and handed over to residents in late 2013, the 170,000 msq development provides 1,040 apartment units of varying sizes that are reasonably priced for private housing.
Emphasis on communal living
Deviating from the default typology of housing in dense urban environments – clusters of isolated towers – the Interlace’s unique arrangement of interlocking blocks creates a sense of connectivity between them, reinstating the notion of community as a central issue in today’s society. Besides that, the design also creates a multitude of shared outdoor spaces, further accentuating its theme of communal living.
At the Interlace, community living is also integrated with nature with an abundance of greenery incorporated throughout the development. Extensive roof gardens and landscaped terraces generously line the facades of its apartment blocks, creating quality communal spaces embedded within nature. The multi-level gaps between its blocks also allow natural lighting and air to weave through the landscape of its courtyards, creating a healthy and well-ventilated environment.