21 Carpenter

21 Carpenter is a 48-room heritage boutique hotel at the gateway to the historic Chinatown district, near the Singapore River. The hotel is built around a group of four conserved shophouses from 1936, with a contemporary rear extension.

The design of 21 Carpenter pays homage to the building’s history as a remittance house, the birthplace of Singapore as an international financial hub. An important part of the history of the building, beautifully poetic phrases from remittance letters, sent home by Chinese labourers, were incorporated into the art façade of the new extension, and inside the hotel.

The perforated aluminium art façade panels act as a skin for the building which fully shades the inner envelope, preventing it from heating up in the sun. Photovoltaic panels on the roof help the hotel produce its own energy, and a hybrid cooling system, combining fans and air-conditioning, further reduces power consumption.

The hotel has two landscaped terraces, greenery on its balconies and planting along the covered walkway. The plants create delight, improve the conditions of the neighbourhood and increase the environmental performance of the building.


  • SIA Architectural Design Awards - Design of the Year

    awarded by Singapore Institute of Architects

Self-Sufficient City

Self-Sufficient City is a design concept for a new town in Indonesia that is regenerative, high density, high amenity, self-sufficient in food, energy and water, car-free and has high biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The brief was to house 210,000 people on a 730 Ha site that is overgrown with secondary rainforest and constrained by a 60m building height control limit. A 3-Dimensional master planning approach was adopted to create a tropical ‘eco-town-in-a-forest’, retaining over half of the existing green landscape.

Four distinct layers run through the town, integrating regenerative systems into the urban form:

  • A Transportation and Services Layer that segregates pedestrians from vehicles. Town-wide infrastructure includes pneumatic waste and recycling collection system, district cooling for the industrial estate and combined underground services tunnels under roads;
  • A Parkland Layer beneath blocks that comprises Tropical Community Spaces for public functions and social interaction. The Parkland Layer prioritizes people with well-connected mobility paths and trams, and a safe car-free environment within public gardens. A diverse topographic landscape, with terraced knolls and elevated decks, overlooks forest glades and the waterways of the town’s reservoir. Pavilions and venues for meetings, parties, and community events are located on the reservoir waterfront, along with boutique-style shops and cafés;
  • A Residential and Workplace Layer organized into a series of Breezeway Courtyards that form an Inverted Skyline;
  • A Rooftop Canopy Layer that is both protective and productive, providing shade and shelter as well as solar energy and food harvested from Sky Field crops. More than 3km2 of photovoltaic panels installed on the Rooftop Canopy Layer generate a 40MW system that can support the fully net zero energy town. With the Inverted Skyline typology, all building rooftops are capped at the same height, which ensures that no energy losses occur from over-shadowing.

Beachfront Destination

The development is a tropical high-rise 3-in-1 beachfront destination comprising of a diverse mix of retail, residences and hotels topped with sky gardens, recreational amenities, demonstrating that high density can be high amenity.

Flanked by a popular beach to the west and the bustling city to the east, the contoured podium is sculpted to form a porous, fully public and pedestrianised retail plaza to seamlessly connect the beach to the city. The tropical beach experience is brought into and up the building – from the breezy event plaza to the stunning infinity pools set in tropical sky gardens.

The project adopts robust passive design strategies such as naturally lit and ventilated lobbies, pre-function areas and access corridors such that these public areas become functional, comfortable, tropical spaces with greenery, natural light and fresh air instead of enclosed, internalised air-conditioned spaces.

The configuration and orientation of the hotel and residential towers are designed to maximize the panoramic sea views for all units with balconies inspired by the organic shapes and colours of corals, alluding to a thriving ecosystem of variegated corals.

Agri-food production in Singapore

More information coming soon.

Carnival of Life

The project showcases the Singapore story, reinforcing core values and cementing

Singapore as a beacon of transformative thinking. We imagine an ultra-Singapore that we know but can’t yet find – an experience that is super lush, tropical and shady, a blend of eating, shopping, and people-watching.

The Carnival of Life takes everything we love about Singapore and catapults it into the most desirable future to become a showcase to the world. It addresses how might we live better, longer and with lives filled with joy and wonder. The vision for the Carnival of Life creates a stage to answer these questions, while creating the most immersive and innovative attractions in Asia.

The Carnival of Life is tied together via a whimsical ribbon. This iconic promenade is a stage for community life and connects visitors to a sequence of attractions celebrating the best of Singapore, centred on food, water, and health. It is a new free lifestyle destination for Singaporeans, promoting community and wellbeing

Diverse yet thematically linked attractions are spread along The Ribbon, a linear park comprised of delightful public spaces.

We envision the Carnival of Life to be Singapore’s 4th Major Public Garden, creating a Regional Public Space for the North. Using Wonder, Multi-Sensory Exploration and Education, the Carnival of Life will be the most immersive and innovative masterplan of attractions in Asia, piloting and engaging global audiences in new regenerative ways of living.

HQ Ministry for Sustainability and Environment

The HQ Ministry for Sustainability and Environment is conceived as a flagship prototype for Jurong Lake District (JLD) and Singapore, pioneering new frontiers in tropical urbanism, sustainability, and resilience. In addition to realising the masterplan’s aspirations and complying with URA’s urban design guidelines for JLD, the design actively does its part to combat climate change by achieving the sustainability benchmarks of Zero Energy/Carbon/Water/Waste. The development is also nature-positive, regenerative, and biocentric, with biophilic office spaces. It showcases Singapore’s thought leadership in skyrise greenery by giving back more than the site area in landscape replacement, with its lush vegetation performing ecosystem services and supporting biodiversity in the city.

Future City Xicen

Xicen Country City masterplan presents a holistic solution for the upcoming development of a 7.1 km2 site on the southern bank of the Dianshan Lake, which is located in the Yangtze Delta area in close proximity to Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. The site has rich water network that takes up about one thirds of the total site area. This masterplan is a prototype for more livable and sustainable developments of the future that brings all the amenities and convenience typically found in existing metropoles in a location embraced by nature.

The proposed masterplan adopts a 50/50 City approach, allocating most of the urban development to the northern half of the site while preserving nature and indigenous culture in the southern half. In the urban half, surface vehicular roads are reduced to a minimum and the land is divided into a series of thematic islands in order to tap into the rich green and blue resources of the site, while celebrating the unique waterfront lifestyle of the Xicen region.

The Urban Core Islands have the highest density and programmatic mix with a district transport hub, civic/commercial plaza and arts/cultural center seamlessly connected to the metro and high-speed railway stations. The R&D Islands integrate garden offices, R&D facilities, and business incubators with residences to suit the future need of high-tech industries. The Residential Islands face the water and benefit from a natural biophilic environment. A series of Rewilding Islands are embedded into the urban spaces, allowing regenerative nature to render bioremediation and ecological services to the built environment.

The nature half is grouped into four zones: Eco-Tourism Zone, High-Tech High Intensity Farming Zone, Campus Village Zone and SME Creative Clusters Zone. By enhancing agricultural and energy production as well as inserting anchor industries and schools, Xicen Country City will become a selfsufficient and resilient urban typology wellequipped for all the future challenges and opportunities.

Future City Maqiao

Maqiao Future City is located in the southwest of Shanghai, 35 km away from the city center. It is the 20-hectare core development area of the future Shanghai AI Innovation Zone. The vision of this masterplan is to create an integrated new town as the driving engine for the larger region and a human-centric destination place that celebrates future live, learn, work and play. It will also be a demonstration project that aims to achieve carbon neutrality in phases.

The masterplan adopts the 50/50 City strategy, preserving half of the land for restorative and regenerative green and blue spaces and the other half for high-density high-amenity urban development, allowing a balanced synergy to grow between nature and the built environment. Programmatically it follows the same concept, proposing half of the development as residential spaces and the other half as a mix of R&D offices, commercial and community spaces.

Maqiao Future City consists of eight interconnected clusters, the Urban Core being the most dense and mixed-use. It integrates metro station, district transport hub, retail shops, urban plaza, and landmark buildings to create a welcoming gateway to the city and a vibrant civic center that forges a strong community spirit and sense of place.

Radiating out from the Urban Core are three Garden Office clusters with SOHO apartment blocks and various embedded business incubators that act as a physical and functional bridge between the urban spaces and the spaces left to nature. The waterfront residential clusters offer community spaces such as sports halls, schools, or healthcare centres.

A 3-dimensional planning strategy is introduced to bring things together. Vehicular roads, district infrastructures and services are buried underground, leaving the ground level fully pedestrianized and maximized for nature. Multiple landscaped ground levels are created above to facilitate stronger connection between clusters and further enhance the ecological system.

Wilkie Edge

This project is in Bras Basah – Bugis district, an arts, education and nightlife zone. New zoning allows media facades and advertisements, which are not allowed in the rest of the central district: the intent being to create night time buzz.

The area has a diverse mix of buildings of different eras and scales. To the north-east is a conservation area of 3 storey shophouses. Mt Sophia, to the north, is in transition from old houses and institutional buildings to dense 12 storey apartments. To the west are large podium and tower buildings from the 1980s. On the east are public housing slab blocks in bright colours. Urbanistically, we wanted to address the disjunctions in scale, and contribute to the buzz of the neighbourhood.

The brief and regulations encouraged a podium and stumpy tower, which was out of scale with the fine textured shophouses. Instead we developed a finely textured skin that filled the planning envelope, and carved out volumes that created silhouettes that are in dialogue with the scale of the buildings around them. These volumes open up light and air to the form, and allowed multiple sky gardens and terraces to be created at different levels. The carved out surfaces are aluminium sunshades and screens, which create a vertical proportion and texture relating to the historic shophouse facades. The silvery skin is a folded, perforated skin that changes with the light conditions, from silver solidity to a misty transparency.

The masterplan designated the corner as an “illuminated node”. Rather than a screen applied to the building, the media façade is integrated into the architecture. A unique LED projection system called A:Amp (Advertising Amplifier) was developed by realities:united which creates a soft light like watercolour on the façade.

Lyf One-North

lyf one-north Singapore is a new co-living development located at the intersection of the commercial, educational and residential clusters of the One-North district of Singapore. The project adds an affordable, vibrant and lively co-living development to the neighbourhood, catering to young professionals working in the creative and technology companies located within this precinct. More than just an apartment building serving its own residents, the development is designed as a community hub for the neighbourhood.

It offers unique public and communal spaces for comfortable living, socializing and recreation for the co-living residents and the One-North community. lyf one-north houses 324 guestrooms and amenities across two 7-storey blocks linked by an inhabited bridge. Its central public space is an amphitheatre that can be used as a public living room for residents and visitors to commune amidst the lush greenery, or to be used for performances, pop-up activities and exhibitions.

The building uses a palette of precast concrete and landscaping which extends the existing greenery up into the development. The precast concrete façade uses variations in textures and geometry with its integrated sun-shading fins and hoods to express the playful and light-hearted character of the lyf concept. Terraced green planters along the external stairs bookend the building with a cascade of greenery. Origami-like folded walkways and roof canopies evoke paper fans and provide sun and rain protection to these areas.