The 2017 Life Power List

Structurally stunning

17 Architecture firm Woha

Much lauded and often considered to be Singapore's best architecture firm, Woha's main difficulty may be in trying to top its own achievements.

But even by the high standards of this firm, 2017 has been a fruitful year. It designed an award-winning retirement village, picked up the Building of the Year award for another development and launched a new design brand.

Oasia Hotel Downtown, a mixed-use development comprising a hotel and office spaces, is one of its crown jewels of the year.

The 27-storey building with a red bower structure that has more than 20 species of creepers growing across its entire 200m-high facade, swept up at least seven awards this year locally and abroad. Its prizes included Building of the Year at this year's Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards.

Another highlight was the Kampung Admiralty project, an 11-storey complex that boasts a "vertical kampung" design. It integrates residential units with shops, childcare and eldercare centres, and medical facilities.


Oasia Hotel Downtown (above). PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE, ST FILE

Billed as Singapore's first retirement community, this project received the Outstanding Award - the highest accolade - at the Skyrise Greenery Awards last month. The awards were launched by the National Parks Board in 2008 to recognise excellence in landscape architecture here.

Mr Wong Mun Summ, 55, one of Woha's founding directors, says: "We always try to push ourselves and, this year, with the completion of Kampung Admiralty, we're really happy with how the collaboration among four ministries and seven stakeholders turned out."

September saw the firm launch a new design brand, Wohabeing, which has six homeware collections. The products were unveiled that month at the prestigious interior design fair Maison&Objet in Paris.

Woha was also named 2017 Maison&Objet Designer of the Year Asia.

Next year, the firm will be working on two major projects here: the Punggol Digital District and one lot of the new campus of the Singapore Institute of Technology.

Mr Wong says: "Those are exciting to us because we are able to implement some of the strategies we have been developing in terms of environmental and social sustainability on a larger scale."

Bryna Singh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 03, 2017, with the headline 'Structurally stunning'. Print Edition | Subscribe