as part of a global competition to design a memorial building on singapore‘s waterfront, XTU architects presents their entry for the site located within the prominent bay east garden. first launched in january 2019, the project called to architectural practices around the world to create a new landmark in celebration of the country’s founding leaders and unique cultural identity. in response, the paris-based studio, XTU, has envisioned a huge ‘root-like’ structure that puts nature and a giant waterfall at it’s center.
render © B douliery (also main image)
for the plot that stretches a vast 5 hectares in area, the competition advised some guiding stipulations to entrants. a few of which included creating a building that is contextually relevant to both the site and local residents, and incorporating a successful landscaping strategy. with this and the singaporean culture in mind, XTU architects has looked to long-rooted mangroves, banyans and water as the starting concept for their design.
render © B douliery
as can be seen from the visualizations, the proposed structure embodies the shape of mangrove roots, reaching up to nearly 100 meters in height and forming a powerful silhouette on the skyline. in the center, a waterfall is imagined to cascade down the middle, linking directly to the waterfront location and singapore’s island geography. the scheme by XTU is also characterized by the lush landscaping that surrounds the built form, bringing visitors close to nature.
render © B douliery
the principle functions of the memorial building take place underground, with the visitor center, galleries and educational spaces housed in the lower ground floors. with this intervention, the main spaces appear simply as an extension of the landscape, punctuated only by an internal water garden. the ‘mangrove’ element of the design can be reached via elevators, offering users the chance to gaze at the waterfall as they ascend. upon arriving at the top, a panoramic viewing platform covered in vegetation greets visitors, providing an impressive vista over the water and urban environment as a whole.
the structure visualized at night, render © B douliery
silhouette of the reimagined singapore skyline, render © B douliery
fireworks illuminate the waterfront, render © B douliery
model of the site, image courtesy of XTU architects
close up view of the model, image courtesy of XTU architects
section through the building, image courtesy of XTU architects
lower ground level 2, image courtesy of XTU architects
lower ground level 1, image courtesy of XTU architects
render © B douliery
project name: ‘founders’ memorial’
type: competition entry
program: cultural facilities, exhibition spaces, temporary exhibition, belvedere, restaurants, educational spaces
location: east garden by the bay, singapore
client: national heritage board
architect: XTU architects / anouk legendre + nicolas desmazieres
project director: marie-lou valdes
team: valerian hou / nicolas charles
local architect: CPG corporation
LSE_ environmental technology and engineering cobra_ lighting designers
competition: march 2019
building surface area: 147,465.57 ft2 (13,700 m2)
site footprint: 5 ha (50,000 m2)
cost: 68 m $
rendering: B douliery
edited by: lynne myers | designboom
architecture in singapore (100 articles)
museums and galleries (132 articles)
XTU architects (12 articles)
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