The Interlace by OMA



Architects Office for Metropolitan Architecture have unveiled new images of a residential project for Singapore, comprising long low apartment blocks stacked in hexagonal configurations.


Called Interlace, the project will consist of 31 interconnected six-storey blocks stacked around communal gardens, containing 1,040 apartments.


The arrangement allows for communal spaces, roof gardens, terraces and balconies.


More information in our previous story.

More about OMA in our special category.


Here's some more information from OMA:


OMA unveils design for The Interlace residential complex in Singapore

Ole Scheeren of OMA introduces a new residential typology to Singapore with The Interlace, a large-scale complex of interconnected apartment buildings stacked in an innovative hexagonal arrangement, developed by CapitaLand and Hotel Properties Limited.


The Interlace is located on an elevated eight-hectare site, bounded by Alexandra Road and the Ayer Rajah Expressway, amidst the verdant Southern Ridges of Singapore. With about 170,000m2 of gross floor area, the development will provide 1,040 apartment units of varying sizes with extensive outdoor spaces and landscaping. The site completes a green belt that stretches between Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah Hill and Mount Faber Parks.


Designed by Ole Scheeren, partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), The Interlace breaks away from Singapore’s standard typology of isolated, vertical apartment towers and instead explores a dramatically different approach to tropical living: an expansive interconnected network of living and communal spaces integrated with the natural environment. Thirty-one apartment blocks, each six-stories tall and identical in length, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form eight large-scale open and permeable courtyards. The interlocking blocks form a vertical village with cascading sky gardens and both private and public roof terraces.

The design capitalizes on the generous size of the site and further maximizes the presence of nature by introducing extensive roof gardens, landscaped sky terraces and cascading balconies. Above-ground vehicular circulation is minimized, liberating large green areas within the development. The Interlace incorporates sustainability features through careful environmental analysis of sun, wind, and micro-climate conditions on site and the integration of low-impact passive energy strategies.


While maintaining the privacy of individual apartment units through the generous spacing of the building blocks and far-ranging views, the design also features communal spaces for shared activity. Extensive residential amenities and facilities are interwoven into the lush vegetation and offer opportunities for social interaction, leisure, and recreation.

Ole Scheeren said: “The design addresses concerns of shared space and social needs in a contemporary society and simultaneously responds to issues of shared living and individuality by offering a multiplicity of indoor/outdoor spaces specific to the tropical context.”


Patricia Chia, CEO of CapitaLand Residential Singapore, said: “This is a great opportunity to create and build a residential destination at the Gillman Heights site that will challenge the present architectural definition of living spaces. While developing the dramatic external form, we have also given much attention to creating comfortable internal spaces. The name, The Interlace, reinforces the interconnectivity of the community with the surrounding natural environment. Ole Scheeren has created a new landmark for Singapore.”

The design is led by Ole Scheeren together with Eric Chang, Associate of OMA. Scheeren is responsible for the office’s work across Asia, including the China Central Television Station (CCTV) headquarters and the Television Cultural Center (TVCC) in Beijing, and the MahaNakhon Tower in Bangkok. His previous work includes the Prada Epicenters in New York City and Los Angeles.

Posted on Friday September 4th 2009 at 12:24 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • MioDino

    “BIG Says: EXACTLY Bjarke Ingels ’s South Harbour office and housing in 2007.

    Yes, certainly a rip-off of BIG’s scheme. But what sets BIG ‘s scheme above Ole’s is that the former has kept the form with a maximum of 2 stack. With this, the form and spatial quality is one of controlled chaos without loss of sight & direction within the development. Whereas Ole has stacks of up to 4 which made the scheme looked incredibly chaotic. I pity the residents who have to contend with looking out into a seemingly endless sea of sharp pointy angles pointing at your face every morning. Not a pleasant sight at all. There is beauty in chaos but certainly NOT in this scheme.

  • geat ideal, i love it

  • abeer


  • Ursus

    ….seems to make sense… if BIG was right, Ole can’t be wrong….

  • zanzi

    simple design but scary.maybe futuristic.but in future i think this will be the vintage one with those poor could be more humane. and come on don't build this.looks white looks clean but it's's crude.

  • Ex-Pat

    I think the reason it looks so awful is right there in the location of the project: Singapore. We’re talking about a place that is still extremely authoritative even when compared with other SE Asian governments. I know someone will point out some beautiful buildings in Singapore but that’s not how the majority of the people with the money investing into these projects feel. For every Arcadia there’s ten of these “Interlace by OMA.”


    Every architectural student had at one point or another thought of this concept- nothing new. Credit to OMA for getting done for real, however.

  • (>

    Genius. If everybody, especially all the junk architects of Singapore, hate it it means it’s fantastic.
    By the way, OMA started to do this kind of cubic, generic, algorithmic architecture since 8 years, so…BIG just copied OMA, as always.

  • larry seow

    ha! with all the trainings and writings of, and about architecture… so architects are dumb after all!

  • i agree with BIG … looks very similar to BIG’s South Harbour …
    But i like the extensive green areas …

  • Reinhard04

    oh my god.. we are doing the same mistakes of the 70ties… those big-scale living complexes developed into problematic social districts. It seems like it was designed for people.. the greenzones in between will never work… its just another academic programmatic act of OMA without relation to the reality.

  • fai

    this is an interesting try, but would be a disaster if someone buys and lives in a flat where locates under another cargo, no daylighting throughout the year.

    We receives quite a lot of challenges and restrictions when designing residential blocks, therefore we find it difficult to breakthrough in design. It is obvious that OMA has neglected all the basic requirements, and the project becomes a form finding exercise only.

  • The unsuccessful embodiment, simply ugly not to like me

  • Stefan Joderberger

    ” (> ” i’d rather be one of the “junk” architects of Singapore than to be so groupie minded like you. you talk like primary school kids. can you tell what is so genius about this idea? what do you exactly mean with OMA’s (especially those three together) cubic, generic and algorhytmic architecture that has been going on since 8 years and been copied by others?
    And other normal people out here, who can teach me about OMA phenomenon more detailed? With concrete, working, real examples in the non paper&screen world what they did so revolutionary and so genius, so I could join prayers of Mr. Holly Koolhaas and his fellows.

  • student101

    i love it. brilliant

  • Orient

    not that I’d like to live there but hey THAT look so much what comics used to sketch when I was a kid. That for me is 21st century architecture nightmare or dream !

  • rima

    Mixed block salad + green rethoric ??
    I appreciate the work of OMA but i think this project is really hard-to-digest..
    (and so similar to BIG!!)

  • Michael P.

    I lived at Gillman Heights for 9 years, in one of the buildings they are tearing down to make way for this abortion. The whole beauty of the site is that it is on some of the highest ground in Singapore, and consequently enjoys a constant supply of wind — an exceedingly rare commodity in Singapore. This design completely squanders this advantage. And as for breaking away from the existing “typology” of private residential architecture in Singapore, that’s just a bad joke. Instead of taking advantage of the large (by Singapore standards) land area by leaving a big chunk of it open and undeveloped (which is how it is now), they are going to chop it up into a bunch of claustrophobic little hexagons, each cluttered with the Singapore standard-issue “resort living” crap (water fountains, potted palms, and God knows what else). Moreover, the hype-artists fail to mention that the site is bounded on one side by *the busiest* — and loudest — highway in Singapore (the Ayer Rajah Expressway). A main flaw of the existing design is that several of the blocks face this road. At the very least, I would have expected the new design to do better in this regard (to be fair to the designers of the condemned estate, the AYE was probably much quieter when Gillman Heights was built, some 20 years ago). But as far as I can tell, there will be (proportionally) *more* rather than fewer units facing this road. I’m sure the units will sell like hotcakes, because hype sells in Singapore, but I pity the people who have to live in this thing.

  • yaulee

    so OMA is saying that orientation of living units can be ignored alltogther in housing design? the blocks are virtually facing all directions you have on the site (with the same window treatment). Just look at those bldg in the background, dont know whether they are accurate representation, but their major face are somehow mostly facing a certain direction.

  • Obayashi

    To yaulee,

    I live in Singapore and due to the harsh sunlight, building blocks are oriented to be non-west facing, i.e. preferably N-S facing, to lessen the impact of heat onto the bldg surface. Thus, the background bldgs with a common orientation are largely a response to the tropical environment.

    You are right in the sense that in OMA’s scheme, it seems that form prevails over function with little regard to the orientation which is an important element for planning in tropical architecture. With so many bldg facade that faces the west, there will be a great reliance on airconditioning and thus it is certainly also not an energy efficient design, quite contrary to the world trend towards sustainable living.

  • Andreas Lambrinos

    After being in Singapore and extensively studying the building typologies this is a very good response to climate, need for greenery and communal areas. Good design! Unfortunately the facade design is poor.

  • It’s nice visually …. Doesn’t seem practical tho … then again … interesting and practical rarely ever meets.

  • Q

    Interestingly enough, its an exact copy and duplicate of the South Harbour project by BIG (Bjarke Ingels)! hmm…

  • jacqueline pruskin

    Energetic design, crazy, too helter skelter, and I would not want to live in the apartments immediately below the overhang.

  • functional problems on the horison……

  • Cam

    To mp…

    I think this is not to be compared with Renaudies’ work. Personally I find Renaudies’ work a little crass and unrefined much of the time. This to me is a more worldly and up-to-date version of a simlar concept however.

    I think it looks great, and could be great to live in… until it becomes a ghetto (kidding). I hope it gets built.

    I actually think the apartments under other blocks could be quite nice to live in. I quite like indirect light myself.

  • Lim

    Check this website out ==>

  • Tan

    Like all developments, there are premium and the less preferred units.
    One can’t have it all.
    Its a project that either you love it or hate it.
    Bought 2 units on super level 4.
    Overseeing Sentosa
    Fantastic view then

  • CG

    This is a great challenge for an C&S Engineer to design the foundation and structure! I hope I could get a unit out there. Staying at this great building and environment will be enjoyable…

  • kai

    The apartment complex which is on the site is now being demolished

  • trungthanharc

    tôi thấy đây là ý tưởng rất hay, có thể tham khảo! i`m from vietnam

  • Pitu

    am gonna buy one unit there.

  • davidramalheira

    Looks like a better version of the "estoril sol residence" by Gonçalo Byrne

  • Is this for real? Great design! You will really need so much material to build that kind of structure. I hope it's possible.

  • nikita

    i just found it amazing.not ugly at even considers all the aspects of climo-that each house gets its share of wind sun and air.and the isdea of getting more open spaces.the world requires generation has grown up with very few open spaces,the generation that followed saw none.truly fantastic

  • supriya

    grt concept of massing and open spaces ….

  • this is a very interesting design…nice concept.But i have a problem with the spaces been wasted .

  • Modern and abstract steel-and-glass with eco-friendly systems. I would love to work for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture someday!