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Farrer Court is a new residential development in Singapore situated in the city-state's residential area of Tanglin. It consists of seven high-rise towers and

12 villas on an 838,488ft² site at Farrer Road, close to Holland Road, and will become the largest residential development in Singapore's history.

Designed by London-based architects Zaha Hadid (ZHA), the 150m-high towers will be prominent for their petering vertical silhouette, their branched

top-end configuration and innovative ground-level landscaping.

The brief given by Singapore property developer CapitaLand called for a world-class iconic residential development that would

attract the local and international high-end market.

The £1.1bn project will be strategically positioned close to the amenities of Holland Road and the future Holland Village MRT (mass

rapid transport) station, to be completed in 2010. The residency has a direct connection to the main traffic route of Farrer Road,

and the absence of high-rise buildings in the near surroundings gives unobstructed sightlines to and from the towers, making it a

prestigious and highly visible site across the whole city. Views to Bukit Timah Hill, Singapore Botanic Gardens, MacRitchie Reservoir

and the Orchard Road city skyline are also optimised.

"Farrer Court is a new residential development in Singapore."

Building design

The seven towers making up the programme visually 'grow' from sunken private gardens within the site

landscape. The lower floors kink in to highlight the point where buildings meet the ground, enabling a greater

open area and the creation of private gardens, which are unique for developments of this scale and density.

The towers themselves are subdivided into petals according to the number of residential units on each floor. The

petals are expressed in three dimensions thanks to vertical cuts which give definition to the building's façades and, at the same

time, allow for cross ventilation of most of the flats. The buildings culminate at the top with a series of fingers stepped at different

heights (the highest is 36 storeys), which blend the transition between the architectural fabric and the sky.

The buildings face each other and the road at different angles creating visual diversity, enhanced from within by the careful use of

balconies and façade panelling. The buildings offer a total floor space of 220,000m², with a basement area of 70,000m².

Together they will hold approximately 1,500 units ranging from two to four bedrooms, as well as over 30 of both garden units and

penthouses. Amenities will include two large swimming pools, children and relaxation pools, two clubhouses and a series of party

houses – as well as outdoor fitness facilities.

Having been designing in Singapore for ten years, the partners-in-charge of the project – the 2004 Pritzker Prize-winning Zaha

Hadid and architectural theorist Patrik Schumacher – say the Farrer Road design is the result of the firm's decade-long research

into the urban fabric of the city.

"The seven-tower development on one of Singapore's most prominent sites represents further exploration into the tower typology

and our studies into organisational systems and growth in the natural world," says Hadid.

Singapore architecture and engineering firm RSP was also involved in the design.

Structural elements

The main structural system will be concrete based. The tower elevations will be glazed to allow for maximum panoramic views from

the site out towards the surrounding areas.

Project architect Viviana Muscettola commented on the engineering challenges of designing a building of this 'wine glass' shape:

 "Lateral stability of the core is the biggest challenge for slender towers," she says.

"Farrer Court will become the largest residential development in Singapore's history."

"This was addressed in early stages of the design process with the use of structural walls perpendicular to the

core. Those elements have been integrated in the plan in a way that does not interfere with the flexibility of the

internal planning, where rooms can be easily joined or enlarged to fit custom needs of the individual user.

"Also, edge columns wrap the individual petals and are tied back to the core, whereas we managed to avoid any

structural column within the floor plan in an additional effort to maximise flexibility."

Innovative landscape

The ground landscape level will be dominated by greenery to emphasise the presence of florid vegetation under Singapore's tropical

climate. The site levels are reorganised into a series of terraced plateaus to maximise the area dedicated to communal site

amenities. The orientation and placement of the buildings is optimised in relation to the local environment as well as to maximise

views out towards the surrounding city and landscape. Sports courts, a running track and fitness stations are also integrated into

the landscaping.

Consultation on the landscaping concept was provided by GROSS.MAX. from Edinburgh, with local architects ICN contracted to carry

out the design.

The Farrer Road project is a CapitaLand-led consortium development; other partners include Hotel Properties Limited, Morgan

Stanley Real Estate Special Situations Fund III LP and Wachovia Development Corporation

Source : www.designbuild-network.com