While a building’s façade is one piece of the major building puzzle, its design certainly has an impact – arguably the strongest impact – in terms of curb appeal and overall first impressions, often setting the tone for the building as a whole.
While skyscrapers and other such buildings are traditionally glass-clad and steel-framed, a growing number of developments inspired by the green uber trend include natural elements in both their interiors and exteriors.
UNstudio’s ‘V on Shenton’ building is expected to deliver just such a façade. Designed by architect Ben Van Berkel, this mixed-use building, designed to function as a new addition to Singapore’s revitalisation of its central business district, has a unique form that maximises the incorporation of plant life while providing unobstructed city views. In terms of the building’s function, the two towers are split, with the smaller 23-storey section designed to function as office spaces, and the taller 53-story tower dedicated to residential spaces.
While the building’s split form is a key element in its overall design, it is the sky garden sections that add a unique twist to the overall aesthetic. Plants and trees will be situated within sections of the structure’s hexagonally-gridded exterior, allowing green to peek through the glass windows but planted in such a way so as to not block views for habitants or natural sunlight.
Not only will the inclusion of native greenery provide a juxtaposition with the blue chamfers that frame the overall form of the building, it is also expected to significantly improve air quality.
While in these early stages it remains unknown if the building will run in the green manner that it looks, in terms of aesthetics, the V on Shenton offers uniqueness in its texture and colour play.
As with people, buildings never get a second chance to make a first impression. It is prudent for designers to keep this in mind. Even if an aesthetic is not valued by all – public and industry alike – the architecture sector values uniqueness and creativity and those elements are never lost when breaking the mold and moving away from traditional design modes.