Our feature on Sustainable Architecture by renowned design firm WOHA featured prominently in the TOP READS of 2016. At UrbanMeisters.com we cover all relevant aspects of urban lifestyle with the aim of expanding the boundaries of the sustainability conversation. Sustainable architecture and design is a crucial part of green urban development. And WOHA is an exciting chapter in sustainable architecture proving that eco ≠ boring, but actually stylish and totally ‘en vogue’. The design firm shows us a new aspect of buildings of the future- that they are not only constructed in a completely eco-friendly way, but are also super chic.
Sustainable Architecture: WOHA
WOHA is a sustainable architecture firm which began in Singapore in 1994 and has since then won an impressive collection of awards and accolades like the recent Maison & Objet Asia 2017 Designer of the Year.
The office was founded by Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell and is internationally reputed for their relentless passion for evolution and innovation – while keeping in mind the local context and tradition of their projects. This results in a unique combination of innovation, sustainability and what in the end is essential to us urbans – practicality.
Left: Richard Hassell – Right: Wong Mun Summ
As they showed at 2016 Venice Biennale, this sustainable architecture firm specialises in a very challenging environment: the tropical and high density climate of Southeast Asia, China and Australia. They’ve shown how integrated landscape, architecture and urbanism can actually improve our quality of life. Their scope is very large, varying from apartment towers to luxury resorts, mass transit stations, hotels, educational institutions, and public buildings.
We have picked 3 of their most impressive sustainable architecture projects to showcase a dream of our green future and to get you inspired for your next eco-friendly vacation.
Bali, Indonesia: Alila Villas Uluwatu
Alila Villas Uluwatu is located on a clifftop plateau at the Bukit Peninsular. This hotel and residential villa is a Green Globe-certified resort. The Green Globe certification is an assessment of the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and also their supply chain partners. Only with looking at the whole supply chain a viable evaluation can be given.
The luxurious resort has minimalist décor to highlight the natural beauty of the area and give a sense of space. Traditional Balinese pavilion architecture and rural landscapes have been combined with a modern design – but all in full harmony with nature:
- All large trees were maintained or transplanted.
- Site vegetation was surveyed and documented, a site nursery propagated the native plants for use in the landscaping. These native gardens require far less water, and support local animals and birds.
- Materials were all sourced locally – the walls made of stones from the actual site from the road cuttings, while all other materials were sourced either from Bali or Java.
- Only recycled Ulin timber and bamboo was used.
The highlight of the spot: The terraced roof and its unique wide panoramic view.
Singapore : Parkroyal on Pickering
The Parkroyal on Pickering hotel opened in 2013 and has been awarded Singapore’s Green Mark Platinum, the nation’s highest environmental certification.
This astounding place is actually a hotel and an office in a garden. The architects not only succeed in integrating greenery in a highrise development in a city center, but they actually made it the prevailing architectural idea of the building:
- A combination of landscaped bonsai arrangements mimic natural landscapes and mountain rock formations.
- Greenery from the nearby park is drawn up in the form of planted valleys, gullies and waterfalls.
- The top of the podium is a lush landscaped terrace housing the development’s recreational facilities.
- A total of 15,000m2 of skygardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and green walls were designed encouraging biodiversity in the Singaporean metropolis.
Singapore : Oasia Hotel Downtown
The Oasia Hotel Downtown hotel is an eye-catching tower of green that has been constructed in a densely built up area, not far from the lively Marina Bay area. The tower is a perforated, permeable construction where the WOHA team adopted a “club sandwich approach”:
- Different strata with its own sky garden.
- Each sky garden is treated as an urban scale verandah, open sided for full transparency.
- A living green façade of creepers and flowering plants is the perfect touch to the futuristic building.
- The team has integrated public areas to get the feeling of nature and country side throughout the high-rise.
Even though according to experts European countries are leading the way in green building it is inspiring to see that Asia is also asserting itself in the sustainable lifestyle and urban development stakes.
Have you spotted a green building or eco-friendly hotel in your city or during your travels? Please share with us so that we can spread the word within our UrbanMeisters community.