Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photo © Tim Griffith

Newton Suites

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Address
60 Newton Road , 307994 Singapore, Singapore
Year
2007
Cost
100M - 1Bn
Stories
20-100 Stories

This 36-storey development is a study in environmental solutions to tropical high-rise living. The design integrates several sustainable devices into a contemporary architectural composition, creating a sustainable, contemporary addition to the city skyline.

The building sits at the edge of a high-rise zone and fronts a height-controlled area that affords expansive views of the central nature reserves; a rare luxury in densely built Singapore.

The exterior of the tower uses sunshading elements, patterned planes of textured panels and protruding balconies to create a facade that is functional yet expressive. The horizontal, metal expanded mesh sunshading screens the strong tropical sunlight. The angled mesh prevents insolation while permitting visual connection to the ground. The angled expanded mesh changes appearance with viewpoint, appearing anywhere between solid and transparent. This, combined with the cast shadows and interference patterns between the shadows and the mesh, gives the building a constantly shifting, blurred appearance depending on angle and time of day.  The layers of sunshading screens also changes the reading of the projections of the bay windows, a standard applied feature of Singapore apartments due to their contribution to developer profit and prescriptive regulations, embedding them in the language of the building.

Protruding sky gardens and balconies combined with sunshading screens create outdoor living environments that are sheltered with ample cross-ventilation due to its elevated location and are particularly suited for the hot tropical climate.

The building is elevated above the ground level to mitigate noise pollution from the adjacent street and view blockage with the lowest habitable unit enjoying views of the communal landscaped deck at the rear and views out to the nature reserves in front; ensuring that maximum value is retained for the developer as higher units command a price premium. The elevated building also affords a high volume drop-off on the ground level with lush landscaping flowing from the external under the building footprint for a larger landscaped area.

Residential units are stacked 4 per floor with habitable balconies treated as outdoor living rooms orientated towards views of the nature reserve and city centre. Service areas are screened from view and open to the external at the rear of the units. Despite the stacked layout of the units, ample cross-ventilation from the balcony front through the services areas at the rear coupled with the passive environmental façade features ensure that the units are conducive for tropical living without depending on mechanical cooling.

Landscape is used as a material – rooftop planting, skygardens and green walls were incorporated into the design from the very beginning. Creeper screens are applied to otherwise blank walls to create visual delight, absorb sunlight and carbon and create oxygen in the dense environment. Most available horizontal and vertical surfaces are landscaped; creating an area of landscaping that is 130% (110% planted) of the total site.  Trees cover the carpark, project from the skygardens at every 4 levels and crown the building at the penthouse roof decks. The above ground carpark uses far less energy than an underground carpark and is fully enclosed with creepers, absorbing exhaust emissions. The carpark roof houses a substantial clubhouse with gym, steam room, party areas and 25m swimming pool with a glass overflow edge.

The end-user experiences panoramic views foregrounded by sky gardens and greenery, bringing the indoor-outdoor potential of living in the tropics into the sky, and bring this to a sector of the community who cannot afford landed housing. Common skygardens create delight at every lift lobby, turning the wait for the lift in the rush to work into a brief contact with fresh air, trees and sky.  The two penthouses include swimming pools with double volume mesh pergolas.

The environmental elements added to liveable apartments and extensive communal areas combine to make a unique tropical building that achieves both Singapore's national vision for a green city and an improved living environment for the inhabitants.

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