Ascent is a new type of building that signals the transformation and urbanization of Singapore Sci-ence Park 1. The building represents the ﬁrst phase of a fully functioning knowledge cluster, mas-terplanned by SWP, and brings much needed street activity to the entrance of the science park.
Ascent, set within a rapidly developing technology district, responds to the changing trends within the innovation and knowledge economy. Companies in this talent-based sector increasingly require less overall space, but with more diverse and developed networking potential. In other words, they require spaces to be more vibrant, buildings to be more ﬂexible, resilient and sustainable with greater access to open space, and ofﬁces to be more ‘experiential’, ‘events-based’ and supported by lifestyle elements that place greater emphasis on well-being and collaboration. The existing context reﬂects an older generation of technology parks with their inward-looking workspaces, unfriendly street environments and isolated buildings. Ascent rejects this model and instead proposes the spatial concept of ‘clustering’. This is where ‘Architecture, Landscape and Circulation’ are integrated to create a system of networking environments. The upper levels pro-vide large, deep-plan ofﬁce space maximising ﬂexibility for regional headquarters and R+D com-panies. The lower two levels - ‘the thickened ground’ – accommodates double height lobby areas, ‘club’ spaces, exhibition and event spaces, co-working spaces, shops and restaurants, along with a creche and a pharmacy, all set within a sequence of courts and gardens. Integrating inside and outside creates an ideal human-centric, social setting that encourages crossovers and synergies between working, playing and learning.
Persuading the client to re-think the traditional arrangement of VIP drop-off and arrivals that typ-ically separate the building from the street, Ascent comes right up to the street creating an active presence onto Science Park Drive.
This mix of uses are clearly differentiated; the shaded privacy of the ofﬁces and the welcoming/engaging qualities of the lobby and lifestyle amenities. For the upper ﬂoors we were able to create a pattern of deep reveals and folded panels within a tight budget. These shade the interior from the equatorial sun and along with the form of the building create light and shade across the large building Ascent pioneers’ sustainability through the use of ‘Building Integrated Photovoltaic Technology’ in the façade. This generates electricity, reduces solar gain and increases energy efﬁciency. It received Green Mark Platinum certiﬁcation for its environmental performance.