Images by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
SOM's newly unveiled tower for Singapore's Tanjong Pagar district will be the island nation's tallest once completed. At just over 950 feet high, the tower is a small fry compared to other world contenders. Nonetheless, it will rise above Singapore's already iconic Surfboard Building and the giant pink trees of its Botanical Garden.
Though the tower will be programmed with mostly residential and commercial uses, the architects have included a "City Room," a large covered public space at the base of the tower. It remains to be seen, however, how welcoming the building acts toward its urban neighbors. !
Its overall aesthetic seems to be a sort of confused Postmodernism, with a hint of crenellation at the top of the tower and bland, featureless curtain wall below. No doubt the designers attached some grand significance to the fact that the tower is bifurcated, but aside from making its sheer volume more palatable, the effect is that of a cop-out: the tower achieves contextuality by simply mirroring its surroundings, while ekeing out large profits for its developer.