The DUO towers are an act of urban reconciliation. Conceived to knit together a previously disparate part of the city, DUO integrates the surrounding context around a 24-hour accessible public plaza, forming a new civic nexus for Singapore.
Singapore consistently ranks as one of Asia’s most livable cities. However, it’s increasingly dominated by isolated towers that favor exclusion over social connectivity. Rather than functioning as a piece of individual and self-referential architecture, DUO is a sensitive insertion into Singapore’s urban fabric that unites a group of existing buildings through spatial integration and establishes a coherent overall urban figure. It turns a previously neglected neighborhood into a lively center for social interaction. It repairs a broken piece of the city and celebrates public life as the central quality of a socially responsible urban environment.
The project comprises two expressive sculptural towers that have been dynamically carved to create a series of circular urban spaces. The design subtracts circular carvings from the allowable building volumes in a series of concave movements that generate urban spaces – a kind of “urban poché” that co-opts adjacent buildings and symbiotically inscribes the two towers into their context. A series of vertical offsets and cantilevers further articulate the towers’ silhouette and generate a series of elevated public spaces.
Stretched across the skin of the towers is an intricate honeycomb texture that not only hints at the hive-like activity of the surroundings, but also serves as a functional element in the building’s environmental strategy. The honeycomb comprises a series of hexagonal sunshades that protect the towers from the heat and glare of the sun, without interrupting the views out over Singapore’s gardens, oceans and skyline. The grid also provides texture to the smooth, concave curves of the towers, as well as accentuating its dramatic cantilevers and setbacks.