Best Tall Building 100-199 meters Award of Excellence: 18 Robinson, Singapore

Robert Whitlock
Design Principal
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, New York City

Teik Yean Chong
Senior Vice President - Projects
Tuan Sing Holdings Limited, Singapore

A Highly Visible Garden Tower Hovers Above the Street

The design for 18 Robinson enhances the physical and cultural context that defines contemporary Singapore by incorporating interior and exterior greenery. The site is dramatic, the terminus of an acute “V” shape, defined by Market Street and Robinson Road. Because of the unusually high visibility of the site, the location mandated a strong, recognizable architectural object that both maximizes the site’s commercial potential and serves as an important public amenity. The tower is a transformative addition to its location, offering office and boutique retail spaces.

The tower is vertically separated from the podium, opening up a large, stepped terrace garden that is visible from the street. Breaking 18 Robinson into two volumes is a marked variation from the surrounding buildings, which are generally singular extrusions. Facets in the tower function to increase natural light within the podium and mitigate direct views into adjacent buildings. The facets also reflect light to create the effect of a crystalline tower floating above the gardens. Separating the tower from the podium increases the building height to provide better views and enables the addition of low-level garden space, creating a more porous urban realm. Hovering above the street, the podium acts as a frame for the entrance plaza and atrium garden. This design move enhances spaciousness and the fluidity of the interchange between indoor and outdoor space. The atrium forms the nucleus around which the office lobby, retail, and restaurant spaces are organized. The site’s small size is maximized with seven floors of retail, restaurants, and gardens. Floor plans are open, with an offset core to the west, maximizing preferred marina views and limiting solar heat gain.

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