WOHA global and In­dian projects

Realty Plus - - Design -

WOHA is known for its em­pha­sis on en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able de­sign and build­ing com­mu­nity. Talking about the firm’s de­sign be­liefs Richard said, “We think that build­ings should have sim­i­lar “per­son­al­ity” traits as peo­ple and ask our­selves: Is the build­ing gen­er­ous? Is it friendly? Is it open? Does it help fos­ter com­mu­nity? Does it en­gage with peo­ple? Does it pol­lute the en­vi­ron­ment or help con­trib­ute by lower en­ergy con­sump­tion, by be­ing green, by re­cy­cling water etc.?

We love projects in which we can in­te­grate all sorts of func­tions into one de­vel­op­ment: liv­ing, work­ing, recre­ation, re­tail, med­i­cal and so­cial ser­vices. We feel that mix-use build­ings can solve sev­eral prob­lems at the same time. Pop­u­la­tions are grow­ing and we are run­ning out of space, traf­fic is in­creas­ing and long com­mut­ing adds to our car­bon foot­print with all the emis­sions that ve­hi­cles pro­duce. By build­ing sky­wards, in­cor­po­rat­ing the public realm and adding mul­ti­ple func­tions to one struc­ture, we re­duce the need for peo­ple to com­mute and we can cre­ate beau­ti­ful liv­ing spa­ces in the sky.”

WOHA is cur­rently in­volved in two projects with Lodha Group in Mum­bai. The New Cuffe Pa­rade and The Park. Both projects are hous­ing de­vel­op­ments that have a strong em­pha­sis on green­ery, en­vi­ron­men­tal fea­tures and com­mu­nity. Brief­ing on the dis­tinct fea­tures of th­ese projects Richard stated, “The New Cuffe Pa­rade project fea­tures “plea­sure gar­dens”, in­te­grates pas­sive fea­tures like wind scoops to ven­ti­late parts of the un­der­ground carpark and pro­vides a to­tal of 730 sky gar­dens. Whereas, The Park project’s main fea­ture is the huge podium sculpted into a ter­rain of land­scaped green thereby, giv­ing 4hectare of park to the res­i­dents of the de­vel­op­ment. We en­cour­aged the de­vel­oper to cre­ate an ac­tive re­tail street edge rather than a gated de­vel­op­ment which just presents a wall to the city.

Both projects have strate­gies in place that lower en­ergy con­sump­tion, such as nat­u­ral cross ven­ti­la­tion of the apart­ments and sun shad­ing of the win­dows and fa­cades, and we had more the idea of a neigh­bour­hood in mind rather than a sin­gle, iso­lated de­vel­op­ment. The com­mu­nity as­pect is very im­por­tant to us, that is why we cre­ated many ar­eas in which peo­ple can meet and spend their leisure time to­gether.” WOHA ho­tel projects - such as the Park Royal

on Pick­er­ing with its “hang­ing gar­dens”, the Oa­sia Ho­tel Down­town (both in Sin­ga­pore) that is wrapped in a green façade and our Alilav­il­las Uluwatu project in Bali which has very rec­og­niz­able pav­il­ions made from re­claimed wood – all have very dis­tinct green fea­tures. They show that lux­ury hos­pi­tal­ity and eco­log­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity can go hand in hand, and can even be a fea­ture that sells rooms. “Our public hous­ing project Skyville @ Daw­son in Sin­ga­pore and our new­est pri­vate res­i­den­tial project Sky Garden in Taipei share the idea that gar­dens in the sky con­trib­ute to ev­ery­body’s well-be­ing and that cre­at­ing ac­cess to green­ery is some­thing that does not have to be lim­ited to cer­tain mar­ket seg­ments. Con­clud­ing the conversation Richard briefed on his lat­est project, “Later this year, our Kam­pung Ad­mi­ralty project, which is a mixed-use, in­te­grated public hous­ing de­vel­op­ment will open. We are very ex­cited to have the first oc­cu­pants move in and ex­pe­ri­ence this new pro­to­type of public hous­ing. It com­bines liv­ing with re­tail, food and bev­er­age, med­i­cal ser­vices and so­cial ser­vices. The project is tied into the public trans­port sys­tem, has a state-of-the-art bi­cy­cle park­ing/stor­age sys­tem and seam­lessly con­nects to the neigh­bour­hood, invit­ing ev­ery­one in to take ad­van­tage of the ser­vices on of­fer. The public spa­ces were de­signed to con­nect peo­ple of all ages and abil­i­ties, to fa­cil­i­tate the build­ing of com­mu­nity.”

As ar­chi­tects, the chal­lenge is to cre­ate a bal­ance be­tween what drives the de­vel­oper, the mar­ket re­cep­tion and what our own longterm val­ues are. WOHA’S long-term val­ues are to build green, re­silient, sim­ple projects that in­cor­po­rate good pas­sive prin­ci­ples. The chal­lenge is syn­the­siz­ing so­lu­tions which align all of th­ese as­pects with the im­age-based mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tion and the more short-term goals of the de­vel­oper. One of the so­lu­tions we have come up with is to cre­ate en­vi­ron­ments that are based on “re­sort liv­ing” which ap­peal to the mar­ket and the de­vel­oper but can also be very sus­tain­able.

KAM­PUNG ad­mi­ralty

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