project name

LOCATION Singapore
CLIENT Capitaland
SIZE 33,000 m2
YEAR 2006

2008 Cityscape Asia Awards, Best Waterfront Development
2007 Cityscape Architectual Review Awards (Tourism, Travel & Transport - Built) 

Originally a hub for trade, abandoned in the late 20th century and since subject to several unsuccessful reincarnations, Singapore's Clarke Quay has finally found a form that suits locals and tourists alike.

Though redeveloped in the 1980s, the wharf and surrounding streets were rarely occupied by locals nor visited by tourists. In 2002 Will Alsop and team were appointed to rethink the neglected heritage site. Subsequent collaboration with engineers ARUP and researchers at Singapore University established that behaviour was dictated by the region's tropical rainforest climate: high humidity and abundant rainfall prohibited any semblance of al-fresco living, café culture or preoccupied wandering. 

The resulting design cleverly provides a passive cooling system beneath its canopy of Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene or ETFE - a transparent polymer used instead of glass - that shelters and cools whilst allowing in natural light and fresh air to circulate. The solution is an antidote to the enclosed, air-conditioned malls built to lure the masses.  The rejuvenation of the area, developed by Capitaland, has encouraged riverfront activity, creating a destination for tourists, a boost for businesses and a new way of life for local people.

* Designed by Will Alsop while at Alsop Architects - part of Ingenium Archial Limited