If you’ve ever planned a trip to Singapore, you’ve probably come across The Interlace on many architectural highlights lists. The 2015 winner of the World Architecture Festival is designed by Ole Scheeren, partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and the condominium is anything but ordinary.
The Interlace resembles blocks of legos that are irregularly stacked on each other, and the Tetris-esque appearance of it makes you think that gods played puzzle on the Southern coast of Singapore. Whether you are visiting, or simply passing by, it is simply impossible to look away from its glory.
The Interlace is located in the south of Singapore on an 8-hectare terrain parallel to two busy transport axes, Alexandra Road and Ayer Rajah Expressway. It provides a rare housing ideology and breathes life back into the standardized and isolated skyscrapers of Singapore.
Apparently, Scheeren’s vision was to take down the vertical buildings and make them horizontal. This was how he achieved the futuristic apartments of the 2050s look: A cluster of traditional apartments toppled over in perfect harmony.
Love it or hate it, The Interlace might be the future of architecture. Its design already looks like it belongs to outer space; imagine the condominium on the Venus sky after we've colonized it. It doesn't feel out of place, does it?
We have plenty of time before the colonization of Venus, so in the meantime, here are 9 facts about the lego houses of The Interlace.
1. A Vertical Village
The Interlace completely differs from the conventional ways of architecture and dives into an approach that connects the individual with communal arenas that are unified with green spaces. The whole design feels like a modern village, adorned with tennis courts, cafes, and swimming pools.
2. The Unique Design
The Interlace’s charm stems from the uniqueness of its design. Thirty-one apartment blocks are bundled diagonally. Each block has six-stories and is identical in height to the others. The silhouette resembles the topography of a hexagonal landscape. The interlocking blocks provide an offbeat geometry that is home to cascading balconies, sky pools, and green courtyards.
3. Engineering Masterpiece
The Interlace is the result of a complex mechanism: It is supported by weight-bearing transfer decks. These decks are capable of bearing the weight of 10 Airbus A380 jetliners. This allows the blocks to be safely bundled on top of each other. These decks were constructed from highly durable concrete. The strong support structures save floor space and create a larger living area for the residents. Sweet right?
4. The Idea of Communal Living
We don’t have a cure for loneliness yet, however, The Interlace provides numerous activities and experiences that will take care of that “alone” feeling. As long as you want it to of course!
The Interlace enables you to submerge yourself into the community life with the clubhouses, theatres, karaoke rooms, gyms, and reading rooms that are tailored specifically for the residents.
Public amenities are interlaced with the landscape. They offer opportunities for social interactions and shared activities. However, it is also possible to cherish your individuality with various places to escape from the daily grind.
5. A Self-Sufficient Town
The Interlace is probably one or two paperwork behind being a town of its own. Its facilities are endless and range from jogging tracks to retail shops. A waterpark with 6 slides, numerous play areas, and tennis courts make boredom an impossible feat.
The Interlace makes sure that you get whatever your heart desires, without needing to technically leave “home.”
6. The Wind-Tunnel Effect
Beyond doubt, Scheeren knew what the Singaporeans needed, and that was built-in air conditioning. The apartment blocks are interlaced to conceive air pockets and wind tunnels.
The acceleration of wind between the blocks turns the humid weather of Singapore into a better version of itself and makes the buildings cool and windy all year round.
Another thing that cools the complex down is the water bodies along the wind corridors. These elements together provide The Interlace a climate of its own.
7. Sustainability Matters
With bigger projects, comes bigger responsibility. Scheeren included sustainability features in the project with careful environmental analysis and integration of low-impact passive energy methods. Site-specific environmental studies, such as wind and solar analysis, were carried out to determine strategies for the landscape design.
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With trophies such as Urban Habitat Award and Green Mark Gold PLUS Award on its belt, it can be definitely said that The Interlace passes the sustainability test.
7. All the World is Green
As the name suggests, The Interlace aims to strengthen the connection between the community and the natural environment. With its 170 species of flora, containing 1,2000 trees, 14 supers trees, and 700 plants, it truly does deliver its promise. The greenery can be seen from anywhere, and the sky gardens, planted terraces, and numerous ivies hanging from the exterior are only examples of that.
Together with the tropical scenery, The Interlace's flora covers 112% of the entire site. This means that there is more greenery in the area than it has ever been before!
9. Luxury on a Budget
Not all beautiful things come with a giant price tag, at least this one doesn’t. The efficient method of compact cores and maximized floor area allowed the project to be completed on a budget. This resulted in reasonably priced housing.
Moreover, the facilities are free for the residents and shuttles across the site can be used without a charge too.
It turns out that it is possible to enjoy a luxurious life in Singapore without breaking the bank completely. Who would have guessed?
“Great architecture should tell a story.” These are the words of Ole Scheeren. And The Interlace tells the story of living in a community interlaced with greenery while protecting the individuality itself.