V on Shenton
by UNStudio

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Dutch architecture firm UNStudio has designed a skyscraper for Singapore that looks like a cactus.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Located within Singapore's business district, the V on Shenton building for property developers UIC will replace an existing tower block that has housed the company since the 1970s.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

The building will comprise a 23-storey office tower that matches the height of surrounding buildings, as well as a 53-storey residential tower that rises above.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Glass hexagons will be arranged in patterns across the facades of both towers, creating angled surfaces that will reflect light and provide shade. Its chamfered edges will glow blue at night.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Another recent proposal for Singapore by UNStudio is a tower with chunks missing from its facade.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

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V on Shenton by UNStudio

Here's some more information from UNStudio:

V on Shenton, Singapore, 2010-2016

Ben van Berkel / UNStudio have designed the new UIC building, ‘V on Shenton’, in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District.

The former UIC Building dominated the city skyline as Singapore’s tallest building for many years since its completion in 1973 and was part of an important collection of towers located along Shenton Way in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Today, the area is undergoing rejuvenation and transformation and ‘V on Shenton’, the new UIC building, forms part of this redevelopment. The dual programming of ‘V on Shenton’, comprising office and residential, presents a unique situation in this area of the city.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

The twin tower of ‘V on Shenton’ is comprised of a 23-storey office building and a 53-storey residential tower, with the dual programming of the building highlighted through its massing.

The office tower corresponds to the scale of the surrounding buildings and the street, while the residential tower rises up to distinguish itself from the neighbouring buildings. Above the third sky lobby the unit mix of the residential tower changes with a subtle display of its split core.

V on Shenton by UNStudio


Just as the office and residential towers are of the same family of forms, so do their facades originate from the same family of patterns. The basic shape of the hexagon is used to create patterns that increase the performance of the facades with angles and shading devices that are responsive to the climatic conditions of Singapore. Along with systematic material variations, these geometric panels add texture and cohesion to the building, whilst reflecting light and pocketing shade. The texture and volume of the facade are important to maintaining the comfort of those living and working in the residential and office buildings. Shading devices and high-performance glass are important for developing a sustainable and liveable facade.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Ben van Berkel: “The pattern of the façade comprises four to five different textures, each varying depending on the programme. At times the glass of the façade creates texture through the relief effect and the coloured side lighting, whilst the volumetric balconies of the residences create a deep texture in the total volume of the building.“

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Each tower is framed by "chamfers"; a line that unifies the composition of the residential tower, the office tower and the plinth. During daytime the chamfer appears smooth in contrast to the textured surfaces of the towers. At night the chamfer lights up as a continuous line framing building.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Ben van Berkel: “’V on Shenton’ will have an incredible presence within the whole organisation of the city and is in that respect a very public project. But we see it also as a sculptural object, where the continuous line of the chamfer highlights the form and where the different textures are not purely related to programme, but also ‘dress’ the building”

V on Shenton by UNStudio


On the ground floor of the development stainless steel lines are inlaid into the floors and lines of light are traced across the ceiling, guiding pedestrians to their destination.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

The office lobby is divided into a reception area and a large café which extends along the view corridor to create a lively atmosphere in the public areas.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Sky Gardens

The sky lobbies and the sky garden are an integral part of ‘V on Shenton’ and provide 360 degree views of Singapore. The most ample and diverse of the three sky gardens covers the entire 8th storey of the development. Here residents are able to take full advantage of the amenities while still having privacy to train or entertain guests.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

Along with the facades, the sky gardens are an integral part of developing the sustainable lifestyle of 'V on Shenton'. These lush green spaces provide a refuge from the city with the climate and vegetation naturally providing fresher, cleaner air.

V on Shenton by UNStudio

At the two sky lobbies in the heart of the residential tower, residents are given even greater privacy combined with views of the city or the ocean. The residents of the penthouse levels will also have exclusive access to the outdoor roof terraces.

  • As always the thought that goes into UN Studio designs is there for all to see. Their design for the Dutch Tax Office building in Groningen is one of my favourite modern high-rise buildings.

  • kimnn

    Very interesting facade study!

  • Cornballer

    Remember when UNStudio used to design beautiful buildings?

  • Interesting! It seems like an organic building with capability to grow itself without man’s intervention.

  • ZumthorFanatic

    I always thought of UNStudio (or Ben van Berkel specifically) as the “better” version of Zaha Hadid.

    And boy, do they always prove me right.

  • Colonel Pancake

    A cactus. Absolutely. Every time I visit Singapore I think to myself "Yes, a cactus would really bring this place up to par."

  • edub

    The images are too small – especially the diagrams – why does Dezeen not allow for full-res images, like most other sites?

    • We usually do provide larger images you can click to view for diagrams and plans – not sure why we didn't here. We'll get them uploaded next week.


  • Yeah right, a cactus, pffff.

  • Jonathan

    It looks like it will date badly. In fact, it already looks as though it has. Really not keen on this. I’ve watched the new parts CBD take shape in Singapore in real time over the last few years – The Sail, MBS etc – and I really get excited when new skyscrapers go up there. This one feels like a real let down. Are they definitely going to build it?