ALEXANDER KYDONIEFS WRITES – On October 27 of this year Singapore announced that it will usher in its most ambitious building project yet — its first ever ‘super-tall’ skyscraper, overtaking Guoco Tower—that will reach 300 meters (984 feet) or higher. This 63-story project represents a partnership of e-commerce giant Alibaba, including Singapore-based real estate developer Perennial Holdings, and the American architecture studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

The new skyscraper, “8 Shenton Way,” aims to revolutionize green building by becoming, in addition to supertall, super sustainable. SOM partner Mustafa Abadan claims, “8 Shenton Way will set a new standard for best-in-class integrated developments that [will] elevate global standards of sustainability.”

With an exterior dendrophilious design and the use of natural materials like “zero-waste terracotta…[and] use of engineered bamboo,” Shenton Way will boast an energy reduction of 55%—more than what is required to achieve the government’s highest sustainability rating. The Singapore (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Certification, which is awarded to the most exemplary green projects, mandates a minimum of just 30% in energy savings.

The cost of these residences remains unclear, but to date the only building that exceeds 280 meters and contains a penthouse apartment is the Guoco Tower, famously bought in 2019 by James Dyson, British entrepreneur and founder of high-end appliance company Dyson. The penthouse unit was sold for a record price of $73.8 million SGD.

Besides ultra-sustainable, what can be said of this massive project? The interior will include post-pandemic innovations such as contactless technologies: automatic gates, antimicrobial measures such as copper handrails, and revised air filtration systems that will enhance the open gardens located throughout, all of which will be designed to establish “places that are comfortable, where people want to be and are healthy,” says SOM design principal Nic Medrano.

8 Shenton Way will comprise an integrated mixture of communal spaces, luxury residences, hotel accommodations, office space and retail stores. Located on the site of the former AXA Tower, it will offer panoramic views facing the Singapore Strait while overlooking Chinatown to the north. It will also be in convenient proximity to Tanjong Pagar, which is renowned for its Michelin recommended restaurants.

Considered one of the best skylines in the world already, Singapore’s distinct building design and city center greenery already make the island nation a “definite highlight of the South East Asian region,” according to travel blogs like the ‘globalgrasshopper,’ or the ‘theluxurytravelexpert’. Will Shenton Way be able to top such tall expectations, making a dent as a new paradigm for Singapore?

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