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World Building of The Year Is...

World Building of The Year Is...

by TODD STOLARSKI | Nov. 9, 2015


As the World Architecture Festival (WAF) drew to a close at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands resort on November 6th, over 2,000 architects from around the globe waited with bated breath to hear where the top prize was headed. Finally, it was revealed that the local boy had won. Yes, The Interlace brought home the crown as WAF’s 2015 “Building of the Year”.

Located in Singapore’s green belt across its southern region, this cluster of 31 apartment blocks, each six stories high, was designed to generate “a multiplicity of qualities and choices for its inhabitants and gives a sense of multi-layered richness and freedom of possibilities for living”, according to the architects behind the hexagonal structure, Netherlands-based Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Buro Ole Scheeren of Germany.

Commissioned in 2007 and handed over to residents two years ago, The Interlace features 1,040 residential units, sprawling across 800,000 sq ft. In an industry normally obsessed with the race to build the tallest tower, OMA sought to change our perception of “vertical isolation into horizontal connectivity and reinstate the notion of community as a central issue in today’s society”.

Notions of both community and nature were of extreme importance in the building’s design and construction. Eight expansive courtyards (each about 200 ft long) run through-out the interconnected village with each building having its own rooftop garden and integrating a multitude low-impact passive energy strategies. This has resulted in the structure receiving, not only this month’s top honor at WAF, but also the “Universal Design Mark Platinum Award” and “Green Mark Gold PLUS Award” from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.

Giving off the look of individual shipping containers stacked on one another, The Interlace was selected by judges for its “radical and alternative approach” to contemporary living. It is exactly that type of innovative thinking in practice that we also encourage here with our ongoing SmartWorlds campaign to provide sustainable solutions for many of the pressing problems our world now faces.  The planet’s future could certainly benefit from more Interlaces  in every city.

Read about the other WAF winners, and more details on The Interlace, here.

To contact the author, write or find him on Twitter @toddstolarski.

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