moshe safdie: condominium at bishan central
moshe safdie: condominium at bishan central moshe safdie: condominium at bishan central
sep 28, 2011

moshe safdie: condominium at bishan central

‘condominium at bishan central’ by moshe safdie, singapore
all images © safdie architects

international practice safdie architects has designed ‘condominium at bishan central’, a 38-story residential complex in the bishan district of singapore. the high density housing block satisfies the needs of the growing urban center while providing family and community spaces and amenities. lusciously planted gardens encompass the two buildings and infiltrate the connecting bridges and bountiful outdoor terraces. inhabitants have access to open-air pedestrian pathways at three different elevations with panoramic views of the surrounding tropical landscape as well as cooling breezes as they sweep through the canyon-like void between the structures. this arrangement dually provides air movement to individual units while the matrix of balconies encourages cross ventilation to pass through the interior spaces. the clustered vertical city mitigates the feeling of concentration by maximizing each dwelling’s connection with nature with access to personal outdoor gardens.

ground level complex

at the ground level, residents enter through a series of walking paths bordering swimming pools shaded with native palm trees. the porous and open form of the towers allows daylight to permeate the area. close proximity to the adjacent bishan park will serve as a green buffer to the nearby city with opportunities for recreation.

view of vegetated bridges from pool area

‘while providing an unprecedented quality of life, mitigating a sense of density and concentration and maximising contact with nature, the complex also results in a village-like clustering of residential units, echoing hillside developments and the integration of architecture and plant life into a singular experience. carefully-considered design features have greatly expanded family and community space amenities, in part by providing generous community gardens and outdoor spaces on the ground and in the air as well as individual penthouse-like roof terraces and gardens for more than one-third of the individual residences.’ – moshe safdie, architect

entry garden

pool at ground level

ground level pool and entry to residential tower

facade and balconies

roof terrace with views of the surrounding tropical landscape

personal roof terrace viewing the sky gardens

outward view from sky garden

sky garden connects the towers

view to the ground from highest sky garden

aerial view of complex

video © safdie architects

schematic rendering

project info:

developer: capitaland residential singapore (75%) and mitsubishi estate asia pte. ltd. (25%)
lead designer: moshe safdie, safdie architects
project architect: dca architects pte ltd
number of units: approximately 500 units
site area: 11,997 square metres (129,137 square feet)
gross floor area: 58,786 square metres (632,770 square feet)
unit types and facilities:
one-bedroom-plus-study, two-bedroom, two-bedroom-plus-study,
three-bedroom and four-bedroom units
unit area: ranges from 680 square feet to 3,000 square feet
amenities: 50-metre lap pool, leisure pools, children’s pool, play areas, a tennis court, barbeque pits,
function rooms, karaoke rooms and a gymnasium.
accessibility: five-minute walk to the bishan transportation hub comprising the bishan bus interchange
and bishan mrt interchange station (north- south line and circle line). it is close to retail, entertainment
and recreational facilities such as junction 8 shopping mall and bishan park, as well as reputable
local and international schools like raffles institution, catholic high school, the australian international school
and stamford american international school.
temporary occupation permit (TOP) date: 2015 (expected)

  • a big tree pot
    could we do without the pot?

    artimon says:
  • Wow. Almost feels intimate. Great mix of private and public spaces, caused by the only slightly overlapping towers, the huge volume between, and the broad ped bridges. Also the angled balconies, which leave the impression of greater separation. A high rise that’s actually inviting. Well done.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • ABERRATION. Cant stand it.

    derfter says:
  • Concept is great. I would prefer rounded edges; think it would soften the overall impression. Also the lap pool seems a tad wide, would narrow 1 metre to allow more space for negotiating the area d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • welcome to babel’s tower 🙂

    kelkemina says:
  • it could use some more color & play of materials. right now it looks like a student project. amazing massing though, just hope the finishes won’t only be white paint.

    zoee says:
  • are you kidding me??? this is the ugliest I saw in the past 2 years … this “thing” put the lid on mediocrity

    hbernstein says:
  • Strange structure. I had such a mixed reaction to it, first thinking “lovely” then thinking “retch”.

    I feel it’s the type of structure that will play out as being cold and unloving once inhabited by humans, despite all of the friendliness and naturalness that is injected into it. The mystic hanging gardens schtick might wear thin if the physical final result interacts like a giant futuristic shopping mall. The clip above is telling as well: it cinematizes the structure in a way that eclipses the significance of a dweller’s perspective. Unless homeowners will be equipped with wide angle goggles and rocket packs, the aesthetic value of the building is being misrepresented (sold) as a lifestyle symbol that merely represents gardens, paths, intimacy etc. rather than a cohesive building that actually embodies those characteristics.

    Eli says:
  • Habibtat 67 on steroids

    theEgyptian says:
  • awefull

    juju says:
  • concrete mongo

    !emalosho says:
  • I WISH I COULD LIVE THERE!!! omg! so beautiful! love all the gardens and pools! specially cuz im a swimmer! 🙂 <3

    lissandra says:
  • Yikes! Precarious and frightening. I appreciate Safdie’s efforts to bring variety and green space into a high-density project, but something about this just gives me the chills. Seems destined to become a slum.

    KDS says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,536 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample