OleMA in The Battle of the Firms

As Dr. Wong Yunn Chii suggested in his Singapore 1:1 Island Exhibition, we are now going through an architectural phase of Innovation/Distinction with works like the new National Library, Sports Hub, Vivocity exhibiting iconicity. Well, the residential sector is not lagging behind either. The humble HDB has given way to shimmering condominiums with iconic marketing points. The latest shimmer is none other than (gasp) another project by OMA.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Old


The New

(1_Reflections at Keppel Bay: DANIEL LIBESKIND)

(2_Apartment Tower at Scotts Road: OMA)

(3_Apartments along AYE: OMA)

3 firms, 3 developments, 2 star names.

It’s almost like a battle between the real estate companies. As if a culmination of the property boom, a climax of their current endeavours, that becomes a keystone of their residential portfolio.

The Contestants

KEPPEL HOMES with Reflections @ Keppel Bay – DANIEL LIBESKIND

Twisting Towers? Nothing really exceptionally new, but this was one of the first projects to use a starchitect in its marketing campaign. I’m not sure if its selling well, judging from the hideous number of full page ads running in the Straits Times.

FAR EAST ORGANISATION with Apartment Tower @ Scotts Rd – OMA

May not be a new concept internationally, but much so for Singapore I guess. Suddenly it opens up possibilities, and its rationality towards providing better views suddenly makes sense.


This latest contribution to Singapore’s rojaktecture has a bewilderingly obscenely simple strategy. It’s almost childish; stacking slab blocks in a hexagonal pattern like stacking cards – is this taking experimentation to a new level? However simple it may be, I can’t wait to see more renders to judge the internal circulation and spatial dimensions.


RESULTS: At the moment, I kind of like No. 3 most, however weird it may be. Someone commented it as a “chic slum”, I find that really funny. I guess it has its qualities, yet to be explored, yet to be seen. I guess my main reason right now is its ability to push HDB/residential architecture in Singapore towards a more stimulating direction, instead of the banality that sprawls in our heartlands.

qmark.jpgsuddenly remembers the IFHP competition.


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