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Sky Habitat; Safdie Architects

Above the clouds: Sky Habitat

The three-dimensional matrix of the Sky Habitat residential complex in Singapore's Bishan neighbourhood introduces a feel of the vastness of the landscape at the high-density housing, which comprises 509 living units intended for the upper middle class. The construction density of the 38-storey development would make headlines in Germany but has long become the norm in Singapore, being an unavoidable fact of life in the small city-state.

Sky Habitat is not the first project to be realised in Singapore by Safdie Architects, being preceded by a spectacular building with a 200-metre-high viewing erected in Marina Bay in 2011, a housing development comprising two-storey living units and constructed in 1985 and a 47-storey residential high-rise built in the central area of the city in 2003.

The two balcony-covered high-rises that make up the new complex in the Bishan neighbourhood are linked with three bridges. Generally speaking, such developments involve straightforward towers that provide communal amenities in the ground floor area. In the case of the Bishan project, however, the architects have sought to enlarge the shared, communal spaces by placing green outdoor areas not only at ground level but also up in the air. Accordingly, communal gardens are offered at two of the sky bridges. Plus the uppermost bridge features a 50-metre-long swimming pool that provides enviable views of the city.

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