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Singapore's Park Royal: A Verdant Vertical Garden by WOHA

Posted by
on January 27, 2015 at 03:24 PM

People living in urban settings don't typically expect to see tropical gardens growing right outside of their hotel windows - especially when their rooms are elevated ten stories above ground level, but in the Park Royal at Singapore, they do! A strong and sustainable piece of architecture, the high-end luxury hotel looks unique and compelling! Designed by WOHA, an award-winning architectural firm founded by Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, in Singapore in 1994. 

© Courtesy of Internet Sources

Singapore, as a city has always been one which has experimented with the parameters of design, constantly trying something new, architecturally and otherwise. The Park Royal Hotel, in the heart of the city, is one such spark of an idea. Dubbed as the "ultimate green-city", this hotel-as-garden by WOHA is a lush oasis in the city of Singapore- this ‘green’ building in the literal sense, is designed so that it actually doubles the green-growing potential of its existing site. What is interesting is that the architects and designers have managed to put more than 160,000 square feet of gardens into their design, the highest density of greenscape as seen on any built building. These gardens are no average landscapes  with tended lawns and a few potted plants to boot- No, these are full sized gardens, comparable to jungles, and handled with the precision of a manicured topiary.

People living in such an urban setting don't typically expect to see tropical gardens growing right outside of their hotel windows - especially when their rooms are elevated ten stories above ground level, but in fact here they do. The three main towers of the hotel complex are connected by curvaceous, green gardens, overflowing with dense vegetation and tropical plants and trees. Greenery flourishes throughout the entire complex, and the trees and gardens of the hotel appears to merge with those of the adjoining park as one continuous sweep of urban parkland. The architect's intention was to recreate and urban street scale with interesting details and engaging views, and mostly to challenge the blandness of the Singapore skyline, while retaining the human scale.

The hotel is a feast for the eyes with its vegetation-wrapped glass reinforced concrete layers, but it’s not just a pretty façade. The architects asked themselves the single most important question when they built it- how do they not just conserve the greenery in the urban setting but also multiply it? They looked at replacing it with vertical greenery, and the concept of the park hotel was born.. The result was a total foliage cover that constitutes more than 200% of the structure’s total land area- a whopping number for any structure ever built!

Designed as a hotel and office in a garden, the fundamentally organic project at Upper Pickering Street is a study of how one can increase the density of green in a high-rise development in the city centre and multiply it in a manner that is not only architecturally striking, but also environmentally sustainable. According to the architects,  a twelve-storey tower above a five-storey podium is placed on an E plan, so that all the rooms look north to the park and/or into the sky gardens, whilst the services and the external connecting corridors were placed on the southern elevation

The building quite rightly follows a pattern that can be observed throughout - on the ground the contours create dramatic outdoor plazas and gardens which flow seamlessly into the interiors. Greenery from the park is drawn up in the form of planted valleys, gullies and waterfalls. The landscaping also conceal openings to the above ground car parking while allowing in air and natural light. The top of the podium is a lush landscaped terrace housing the development’s recreational facilities, with infinity edge pools opening up unobstructed views of the city. With its modern design, luxury materials, amazing light arrangements, grand entrance and loads of magnificent design ideas everywhere you look, the Park Royal is more than a masterpiece, it represents "the future of design"!!

Designer : WOHA, Singapore
Photography :Courtesy the designer

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