SOM unveils design for Singapore’s first supertall skyscraper
American architectural firm SOM has released designs for 8 Shenton Way, a supertall skyscraper in Singapore, which would be the city’s tallest, with a design informed by a bamboo forest. The designs for the 63-storey high-rise feature a step-like structure rising up from a plant-filled base, with a number of empty spaces along its facade designed to look like “a bamboo forest,” according to the studio. At 305 metres high, 8 Shenton Way would be the Asian city’s first supertall skyscraper — defined as a structure that measures 300-600 metres high.
Located between Singapore’s Central Business District and Marina Bay area, the tower will house offices, luxury residential units, and retail. It was designed by SOM and is being developed by East Asian company Perennial Holdings Private Limited, with DCA Architects of Singapore serving as architect of record for the project.
The building’s massing draws from the composition of bamboo forests. SOM says, “The tower is inspired by bamboo forests — biophilic design, which resonates with the vertical elements found in nature. The firm added that engineered bamboo would be used in certain aspects of the building, although no concrete details were given.
SOM also highlighted a “post-pandemic” aspect to the tower, saying that the emphasis is on occupant health and safety. “Emerging from the pandemic, the moment presents an unusual and exciting opportunity for architects to explore new approaches to placemaking that are focused on the well-being of its inhabitants,” said Nic Medrano, principal at SOM Design.
These implementations would include contactless technologies, antimicrobial materials, and increased ventilation. Renderings of the facility depict curved plinths of the high-rise covered with vertical louvers and stylized fans. Pagoda-like structures made of glass and wood cladding, which would house community amenities, project out of the plinth.
Structurally, energy-efficient glass and concrete will be used, with SOM saying that concrete will include some amount of “recyclable aggregate”. Seven landscaped terraces will be scattered across the skyscrapers height, some accessible by guests from a hotel planned for the structure, some by residents in apartments. “In all, the design includes over 10,000 sqm of public, raised green space — over the whole footprint of the structure,” says the firm.
The Lobby would direct residents to the multi-story Atrium. Wood, terracotta, and stone will be used in the interior design, with a reflecting pool in the lobby area as well. The skyscraper has an expected completion date of 2028.
The previous tallest building in the city was also built by SOM, the Guoco Tower, which stands 283.7 metres and was completed in 2016. Singapore continues to commission international architects to work on high-rise projects. In September 2022, architects BIG and Carlo Ratti Associati completed the 28-metre high, plant-filled skyscraper in the city.