Director of Construction Productivity and Mechanical & Electrical
Housing & Development Board, Singapore
RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Singapore, Singapore
The Pinnacle @ Duxton, a complex of 1,848 apartments built on a plot of only 2.5 hectares, has come to be synonymous with the “Singapore model” of high-rise public housing, a model whose design innovations have gone a long way toward redeeming the image of social housing worldwide. Responding to a convoluted site condition, the seven-tower complex is interlinked at the 26th and 50th floors by continuous sky gardens, forming a simple yet powerful sculptural skyline that creates a strong identity for the project; and just as importantly, a priceless amenity for residents. Each of the 12 sky gardens are conceptualized as “displaced landscapes,” with names such as Sky Gym, Hillock, Crater, Meadows, Lounge, and Beach. They function as an extension of the living environment for residents, forming almost 1 hectare of new land – in the sky.
Further, the orientation of the towers creates urban windows that frame the city skyline. With this maneuver, the layout eliminates overlooking between units; optimizes views, connection, air and light flow; minimizes western exposure to reduce solar heat gain; and includes the conservation of historical trees. A large forecourt for the towers was created, maintaining visual connectivity with the existing Tanjong Pagar Community Club, which is a major community node for this neighborhood. The complex has stood for a decade as a model for other developments, particularly those in warmer climates, as a way to resolve the paradox of spatial constraints and the need for family-friendly green space in the urban environment.