Travelers visiting an urban setting like Singapore don't typically expect to see tropical gardens growing right outside of their hotel windows - especially when their rooms are elevated ten stories above ground level. So you can imagine that guests of the city's PARKROYAL on Pickering Hotel find the surreal sky gardens that wrap around its glassy towers to be a truly singular experience. Conceptualized by Singapore-based WOHA Architects, the fantastical form has captivated the attention of the architecture world as well as the the green building industry with its energy and water-conscious design. Inhabitat recently had a chance to check out this unique hotel's green features as part of the 2013 International Green Building Conference hosted by Singapore's Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Click through our photo gallery to take your own tour of the venue's amazing sky gardens, outdoor hallways, stunning daylit suites, Orchid Club and poolside "bird cages".
It’s obvious that PARKROYAL on Pickering is a feast for the eyes with its vegetation-wrapped glass reinforced concrete layers, but it’s not just a pretty facade. The building was awarded Green Mark Platinum status in 2012 by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for its energy and water saving design, which includes motion-activated lighting, naturally-ventilated hallways, recycling in guest rooms as well as throughout the hotel, energy-efficient chiller system, demand-based ventilation systems, use of LED and fluorescent lighting, daylight maximization, photovoltaic cells on the roof, high performance glass to cut solar gain and use of Cobiax technology (which uses “void formers” made of recycled plastic to reduce concrete usage), just to name a few of the eco-conscious considerations. The building’s foliage also works to absorb heat and keep the west-facing walls cool (a must for a tropical climate like Singapore’s), but you might be wondering how much extra energy goes into watering and maintaining all of those plants. The answer? None.
“All of the surface rainwater runoff is channeled down to the greywater harvesting tank to water all of the gardens, and they are watered by gravity-driven irrigation,” Bernard Lee, an architect that was part of WOHA‘s PARKROYAL project team, told us. “We also have photovoltaic cells on the roof to provide energy for this process.”
Mr. Lee also explained WOHA‘s vision to mirror the neighboring Hong Lim park in their design. “For this building it was WOHA’s direction to go with green replacement – how do we not just conserve the greenery in the urban setting but also multiply it? Therefore we looked into using vertical greenery to replace all of the greenery that was lost,” he said. The result was a total foliage cover that constitutes more than 200% of the structure’s total land area.
For more photos of PARKROYAL on Pickering’s enchanting indoor and outdoor spaces, don’t forget to check out our gallery here and stay tuned as we bring you more photo tours of some of the other amazing green buildings we visited in Singapore.
Photos ©Yuka Yoneda