“I think you need to, as an architect, understand the essence of a place and create a building that feels like it resonates with the culture of a place.”
– Moshe Safdie
Inspired by his iconic Habitat 67 in Montreal Canada, renowned Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie continues his campaign to redefine high density urban living with one of his latest projects in Singapore- Sky Habitat.
Located in the neighborhood of Bishan, a residential area in the suburban heartland of Singapore, this 38-story residential complex explores the balance of high-density living with humanistic concepts of community, landscape, gardens, cross ventilation and daylight. The development features 2 unique tower blocks which, rather than stand independently, are connected on 3 levels by platforms lined with vegetation and gardens referred to as skybridges. These bridges make the entire development one singular complex of decentralised terraced housing units that is able to respond to the tropical climate of Singapore while offering new kind of living experience. The entire development features a total of over 500 apartments ranging from 1 bedroom to 4 bedroom typologies each with at least one garden balcony, as well as basement parking for over 500 cars.
Heres a brief description of the design by the architects,
Breaking down the scale of typical singular tower residential development, the community- based solution of Sky Habitat is a three-dimensional matrix of homes with private terraces, balconies, and common gardens, bringing landscape into the air and maintaining porosity on the skyline. The complex’s strong stepped form recalls the community texture of ancient hillside developments and provides for lush vertical greenery, multiple orientations relative to the sun, naturally ventilated units, and generous views, all without compromising planning or structural efficiency.
Three bridging sky gardens link the two stepping towers and create a series of interconnected streets, gardens, and terraces in the air, which provide a variety of areas for common recreation and congregation. As a result, the overall mass is porous and open, allowing breezes to flow through and daylight to penetrate deep into the structure. The stepping geometry allows every residence multiple orientations and a private outdoor space, resulting in a more humane and delicate urban fabric.
At the ground plane, above a sunken parking podium, more than 70 percent of the site is developed into a series of lush gardens, which offer additional outdoor event areas, swimming pools, a tennis court, and walking paths.
Sky habitat is able to offer maximum density and concentration while maximizing contact with nature, in a vast complex that is less of a giant singular mass or box but more of a village-like clustering of residential units, echoing hillside developments, with each of the units being well lit and ventilated with access to enjoying the outdoors on every level, a masterful integration of architecture and plant life into one singular experience. The development was completed in late 2015/early 2016.
Here’s a video that offers a great look at both the inside and outside of Sky habitat in the most engaging of ways, so though you’re not in Singapore, you can enjoy the experience of being there,… digitally.