In big, bustling cities, it’s hard to find new space for commercial buildings. But the VW +BS architectural firm took their search in Singapore above and beyond, literally. Their newly constructed Periscope building is tucked behind a series of storefronts and it has a spectacular extension that rises high and hovers out and over the street below.
Located in the Upper Circular Road area of Singapore, the Periscope had a great architectural history to work with. The area in general has undergone massive revitalization with warehouses and stores turning into high-end hotels, restaurants, and shops. The specific building the Periscope inhabits was built in the 19th century, restored once in the 1930’s, and left untouched since.
This innovative design includes minimal work to the existing building, simultaneously preserving its past while adding yet another layer to its story. Singaporean conservation guidelines also played a major role in the building’s design. Rules state that the first 7.5 meters of a space cannot be redeveloped. Henceforth, the entire new design is behind and above the existing space.
The tall slender building includes four stories of office space and the top floating floor features a restaurant with an entire wall’s view of the city. A six foot airwell separates the top annex from the rest of the building. Borrowing the idea from old Singaporean shop houses, the structure allows light and ventilation to filter into the rest of the building.
The Periscope helps enliven the streets of Singapore with a fresh new design while managing to preserve the history of its industrial neighborhood.