The Interlace condo lauded as 'trailblazer'

The Interlace designed by OMA/Ole Scheeren bagged the World Building of the Year title at the World Architecture Festival last night.
The Interlace designed by OMA/Ole Scheeren bagged the World Building of the Year title at the World Architecture Festival last night.ST FILE PHOTO

Depot Road project wins top prize at Oscars of the architecture world

The Interlace condominium in Depot Road has been lauded by the international architectural fraternity as a "trailblazer", winning the top prize at this year's World Architecture Festival.

The residential property designed by OMA/Ole Scheeren, featuring 31 blocks of apartments stacked in a hexagonal arrangement, bagged the World Building of the Year title last night at the annual event, considered the Oscars of the architectural world. Festival director Paul Finch said the judges were impressed by its "bold, contemporary architecture and thinking".

"It offers an alternative for developments that might otherwise be default tower clusters. The judges also think that the approach could generate other possibilities.

"You could use this idea and have different building types or ownership patterns, or change the dimensions of some of the blocks. It's a proposition which is fertile."

The Interlace came out tops after live judging yesterday by a "super jury", led by English architect Peter Cook. The three-day event, which was held at Marina Bay Sands, started on Wednesday.

The 1,040-unit condo by CapitaLand Singapore sits on an 8ha site and was completed in 2013.

Celebrated German architect Ole Scheeren started the project when he was at Rotterdam-based firm OMA, but he left in 2010 and completed the project under his new practice, Buro Ole Scheeren. His projects include Beijing's iconic China Central Television Headquarters. He is now working on mixed-use development Duo in Beach Road here. It is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The Interlace project team had won in the Housing - Completed Buildings category of the festival on Wednesday, beating 13 others, including home-grown firm SCDA Architects, which submitted its SkyTerrace@Dawson, a Housing Board Build-To-Order project.

It then went up against winners of completed buildings in 17 categories - including mammoth projects such as the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu shopping complex and Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha - for the World Building of the Year award. There were 338 projects submitted this year.

This is not the first time Singapore has won the festival's top accolade. Gardens by the Bay won the title in 2012, when Singapore hosted the festival for the first time.

There are two other Singapore winners at this year's festival.

Oasis Terraces, an integrated neighbourhood centre and polyclinic in Punggol by joint venture team Serie + Multiply Consultants, won in the Commercial Mixed Use - Future Projects category.

Homefarm, a conceptual proposal for the next generation of urban retirement housing by the Singapore office of Spark Architects, took home the prize in the Experimental - Future Projects category.

The winners were chosen by a jury that included celebrated architects and architecture professionals, such as Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and Neri&Hu Design and Research Office founding partner Lyndon Neri.

The Interlace win is a bittersweet one for the festival. This is the last time that it will be held here. The festival will move to Berlin, Germany, next year. Before coming to Singapore, it was held in Barcelona, Spain, for four years.

From next year, instead of just one big festival, there will be satellite events in various cities, with more localised content. These have been planned for Dubai in February and London in June.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'The Interlace condo lauded as 'trailblazer''. Print Edition | Subscribe