Singapore based WOHA designed PARKROYAL on Pickering, a hotel and office in a garden that explores the use of greenery within a densely built up high-rise city. Located in central Singapore, the architects used a total of 15,000 m² of sky-gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and green walls, totalling double the site area, and equivalent to the footprint of Hong Lim Park.
A diverse variety of species ranging from shade trees, tall palms, flowering plants, leafy shrubs and overhanging creepers come together to create a lush tropical setting that is attractive not only to the people but also to insects and birds, extending the green areas from Hong Lim Park and encouraging bio-diversity in the city.
The undulating forms of the building draw inspiration from the mountain rock formations and padi fields of Asia. These contours are made out of precast concrete elements of modular radii, allowing the sculptural complex podium be put together like a pre-made kit. The contours of the building create dramatic outdoor plazas, and seamlessly create the transition from outdoor to indoor through the use of overflowing greenery.
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. Birdcage cabanas perched over the waters add interest and delight.
The concept of the garden, as well as the topographical expression of the podium’s contours, are brought into the interior of the hotel. The continuation of the architectual language reinforces the landscape theme and breaks the boundaries between exterior and interior. Drawing inspiration from its Chinatown context, the interior of the hotel introduces a hint of oriental furniture and lanterns, “with a framing aesthetic that functionally integrates universal and elder-friendly design”.
The relation of the building with the landscape of Hong Lim Park is most visible on the ground floor public areas, and the 5th floor storey pool terrace. WOHA strategically used mirrored wall panels within the lobby to create the illusion of a much larger space, as well as bring in the greenery. The use of mirrored panels on the ceiling opens up the space, “dissolving the idea of being enclosed in a building”.
Moulded plywood was used inside the lobby to recreate the contours of the podium, in the form of reception desks and bar counters. Once again the forms of the building, and the interior livable space come together in harmony. The concept of walking through a garden continues, as 40% of the hotel room corridors are externalized. The lush greenery and waterscapes provides a rejuvenating experience, while giving every guest a view to remember.
The sky lounge, named Orchid Lounge, is located on the 16th floor and plays around the “home away from home” concept. Almost all rooms can enjoy views of the hotel’s expansive sky gardens, while premier suites have the added luxury of baths located adjacent to gardens. The bathrooms are separated from the rooms by sliding doors that give guests the opportunity to expand their hotel room, and visually enjoy the gardens.
Similar to the main floor, Woha introduced full length mirrors into the guest rooms to bring the landscape in, and to balance natural lighting. Standard rooms are designed in a soft, warm palette to contrast against the “vibrancy and buzz of the city”, while the executive and Presidential suites introduce a more mature palette, with stronger accents and deeper colours.
All the finishing touches and materials were carefully selected to compliment the concept of the hotel. The birdcage cabanas on the 5th floor offer a nostalgic reference to Chinatown. The birdcage idea was also adapted into a staircase enclosure, creating a dramatic space and experience from the lobby to the 2nd storey.
The chandeliers featured in the dining restaurant are bundled like wooden sticks to resemble lanterns hung in a landscape lantern. Seen from outside, the chandeliers appear to be floating lanterns in the sky. Another interesting detail is seen in the custom designed carpets throughout the hotel. The hotel lobby carpet was custom designed in different shades of green and different pile heights to resemble grass. The guest-room corridors feature carpets that are made to look like shadows cast by lanterns.
WOHA seamlessly introduced the concept of garden to the busy city life of Singapore. Drawing inspiration from nature, the building creates an oasis within the city.
Project Title: PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore
Architects & Interior Design: WOHA
Project Team: Wong Mun Summ, Richard Hassell, Donovan Soon, Sim Choon Heok, Toh Hua Jack, Bernard Lee, Amber Dar Wagh, Mappaudang Ridwan Saleh, Evelyn Ng, John Paul Gonzalez, Josephine Isip, Goh Kai Shien, Luu Dieu Khanh, Tan Szue Hann, Alen Low, Vanessa Ong, Novita Johana, Andre Kumar Alexander
Location: 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289
Construction Cost: S$ 137 million
Project size: 29,811.54 m² (gross area), 6,958.9 m² (plot area)
Client: UOL Group Limited
Management Company: Pan Pacific Hotels Group
Civil & Structural Engineers: TEP Consultants Pte Ltd
Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: BECA Carter Hollings & Ferner (S. E. Asia) Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyors: Rider Levett Bucknall LLP
Lighting Consultant: Lighting Planners Associates (S) Pte Ltd
Landscape Consultant: Tierra Design (S) Pte Ltd
Façade Consultant: Meinhardt Facade Technology (S) Pte Ltd
Greenmark Consultant: LJ Energy Pte Ltd
Acoustic Consultant: CCW Associates Pte Ltd
Signage Consultant: Design Objectives Pte Ltd
Kitchen Consultant: KI Consultant Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: Tiong Seng Contractors (Pte) Ltd
*All images and information courtesy of WOHA.