SINGAPORE - The architecture firm behind the design of three blocks at St George's Towers Build-To-Order (BTO) project has bagged a top design award for Housing Board projects, in a year that saw the HDB name a record number of winners.
Built in the Kallang-Whampoa district and towering over lower-rise developments in the mature estate, each block boasts a sky terrace on the 24th storey fitted with fitness equipment and benches where residents can enjoy unblocked views of the city and the Whampoa River.
On Monday (Dec 28), the HDB gave out a total of 35 awards for design, construction and engineering excellence, the largest number of awards given since the HDB Awards started in 2008.
The distinctive features of St George's Towers won Look Architects the HDB design award under the housing category.
Unlike most HDB blocks, windows on the three blocks are laid out in a staggered format every six floors.
Launched in 2014, St George's Towers' 738 flats comprises studio apartments, three-room and four-room flats.
Half of the 151 studio apartments were set aside for seniors who wished to right-size to a smaller flat in the same town or within 2km of their previous flat, or to live near or with their parents and married child.
To encourage active ageing, the housing project is integrated with a senior activity centre and communal spaces with roof as well as rain gardens that line the waterfront.
Peppered around the estate are murals and precinct floor markers depicting the area's history as a swampland.
Alkaff Vista at Bidadari, designed by ADDP Architects, was the other project which won the HDB design award under the same housing category.
The upgraded Hougang Town Centre, which is filled with fishing village imagery and a swamp-theme playground inspired by its past as a freshwater swamp, was also lauded for its good design.
SQFT Architects led the project under the HDB's Remaking our Heartland programme.
All 10 housing projects which bagged HDB construction awards achieved the Building and Construction Authority's quality benchmark Construction Quality Assessment System (Conquas) scores above 90.
The de-facto national yardstick for the industry was introduced in 1989 and has been periodically fine-tuned to keep pace with changes in technology and quality demands of a more sophisticated population, the BCA said of the system on its website.
Two BTO projects Tampines GreenView and Meadow Spring @ Yishun - by Ho Lee Construction and BHCC Construction respectively - were awarded the Conquas Star rating, the highest possible accolade for construction and workmanship quality.
On Monday, HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean said the large number of awards this year affirms the high standards put out by industry partners in helping the HDB create a quality living environment.
"Our architectural and engineering consultants have displayed excellent consideration of site context and produced well thought out, attractive and creative designs, while our building contractors have innovatively overcome constraints and displayed high construction productivity and efficiency," said Dr Cheong.