UNStudio’s Ardmore Residence in Singapore

Iwan Baan Ardmore
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan
In recent years high-rise residential towers in Asia have undergone a significant transformation. No longer do only mass replicated tower blocks dot the skyline of most Asian cities, a new generation of bespoke towers now provide aesthetic, singular silhouettes and incorporate comfortable living spaces, attractive landscaped gardens and an array of amenities for residents.

The Ardmore Residence at 7 Ardmore Park in Singapore is these new breed of residential towers. Situated in a prime location close to the Orchard Road luxury shopping district, the Ardmore Residence enjoys both expansive views of the panoramic cityscape of Singapore City and the vast green areas of its immediate western and eastern surroundings.
Highrise Residential Tower
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan

Unstudio Ardmore Residence
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan

Living landscape

Living Landscape
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan
The primary concept for the design of the 36 storey, 17.178 m² residential tower is a multi-layered architectural response to the natural landscape inherent to the 'Garden City' of Singapore. This landscape concept is integrated into the design by means of four large details: the articulation of the facade, which through its detailing creates various organic textures and patterns; expansive views across the city made possible by large glazed areas, bay windows and double-height balconies; the interior 'living landscape' concept adopted for the design of the two apartment types, and the introduction of transparency and connectivity to the ground level gardens by means of a raised structure supported by an open framework.

Textured facade

Textured Facade
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan
Pontiac Land Group
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan
The facade of the Ardmore Residence has been derived from micro-design features which interweave structural elements, such as bay windows and balconies into one continuous line. The façade pattern is repeated for every four storeys of the building, whilst rounded glass creates column-free corners, visually merging the internal spaces with the external balconies. Intertwining lines and surfaces wrap the apartments, seamlessly incorporating sun screening, whilst also ensuring that the inner qualities of the apartments and the outer appearance of the building together form a unified whole. From a distance the tower appears to adopt vastly divergent contours when viewed from different perspectives, whilst from closeby the various openings in the concrete panels of the facade affect a sense of organic mutation and transition as you move around the building.

Inside-outside landscape

The apartments in the Ardmore Residence embody the idea of a 'living landscape'. Functional spaces are redefined and extended into the living landscape concept, offering the possibility for versatile functionality for the occupants. An indoor-outdoor living experience is achieved through the inclusion of large windows and double height balconies in all of the residences. These elements enable a wide variety of views across Singapore City, while the large vertical balconies additionally offset the horizontality of more private interior spaces. With the terrace spaces integrated into everyday internal living scenarios, the living landscape promotes seamlessness between interior and exterior spaces. Bay window features on the façade create natural shading on the glass to minimize heat gain and provide welcome opportunity for planting by the residents.
Project Factsheet
Architect : Ben van Berkel / UNStudio
Interior design show suite : Terry Hunziker
Location : 7 Ardmore Park, Singapore
Programme : Residential
Client : Pontiac Land Group
Consultants
Mechanical & Electrical Consulting Engineers : J Roger Preston, Singapore
Façade : Ove Arup, Singapore
Design Year : 2006
Completion : September 2013
Contractors : Shimizu Corporation
Interior design show suite (level 33) & clubhouse : Terry Hunziger
Entrance artwork : Yayoi Kusama
Building Information  
Site Dimensions : 5.595 m²
Building Height : approx.. 135.7m
(Ground – FL 117.130. Top of Upper Roof – FL 252.830)
Number of Floors Below Grade : 1 (one), Car park
Number of Floors Above Grade : 36 storeys (lobby at ground level, 1st residential level at 8th storey)
Floor Area:
  • Gross: 17.178 m²
  • Net: 15.666 m² of apartments
  • Individual spaces: 58 apartments (240 m2)
Exterior Materials  
Substructure : concrete
Superstructure : concrete
Envelope : pre-fabricated concrete
Interior Materials / suppliers  
  • Flooring: Beige Marble / Roman Travertine / American Oak Timber Flooring
  • Glazing: Glass and Aluminium
  • Ceilings: Plaster and paint
  • Wall finishes: Plaster and Marble / Roman Travertine
Furnishings : (type and manufacturer)
  • Kitchen appliances
: Kitchen system by Poggenpohl from Germany
Refrigerator and Wine chiller Liebherr from Germany
Oven, Microwave, Cooker Hob & Hood, Dishwasher: V-zug from Switzerland
Washing machine & dryer: V-zug from Switzerland
  • Bathroom appliances
: Sanitary ware: Kohler from USA
  • Fixtures and fittings
:
Tap fittings: Dornbracht from Germany (note: Kitchen Yard is Jado from Germany)
GIRA Switches and EIB Lighting system
  • Special elements
:
: Custom-made aluminum retractable louvers at the balconies
Sustainable features according to Greenmark Declaration
  1. Green Roofs at ancillary buildings with auto-irrigation and sensors
  2. Water usage regulators and Water efficient fittings
  3. Motion sensors for back of house spaces
  4. Energy efficient VRV air-conditioning system
  5. Naturally ventilated lobbies/ common areas
  6. Apartment units have good daylighting and natural ventilation
The floor plan chosen for the 58 individual apartments is designed to increase the amount of daylight and take full advantage of the panoramic views, thereby creating an atmosphere of spaciousness in the dwellings. This floor plan is based on an analysis of Renaissance villa prototypes – and the concept of a “cours d'honneur” as in between space which enable visual links between different parts of one and the same house. In the design for the Ardmore Residence, this concept is appropriated and translated in order to allow for visual interconnection between specific areas within the apartments. This concept furthermore increases privacy for sleeping rooms and adds a four-dimensional aspect to the layout, as both wings can operate separately, service different needs and be active at different times of the day.

Continous Landscape
Photo courtesy: Iwan Baan
Ben van Berkel: The highly textural façade of the Ardmore Residence works in unison with the organisation of the individual apartments, affording both extensive daylight to the unique residential spaces and panoramic views over the city of Singapore. The façade further generates a unique reading of the building in the neighborhood with its layered contours extending the appearance beyond four façades and providing a variety of profiles and perspectives.

Continuous landscape

The first residential level of the Ardmore Residence is located on the eighth storey of the building. An open framework has therefore been introduced at the base of the raised tower which enables full connectivity and transparency across the ground level landscaping, while simultaneously organising the shared amenity facilities. Whilst building regulations in Singapore specify both the height and area of high-rise buildings, views are also deemed to be essential for the occupants. The raised design of the Ardmore Residence therefore integrally incorporates these set parameters to take full advantage of the potential. They afford to optimise the design concept and simultaneously create a fully integrated living and leisure landscape for its occupants.