The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren
nears completion


An OMA-designed housing complex comprising 31 apartment blocks stacked diagonally across one another is nearing completion in Singapore (+ slideshow).

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

The Interlace was designed by former OMA partner Ole Scheeren, who has since moved on to set up his own studio. It is made up of a series of near-identical six-storey blocks, which have been arranged in a honeycomb pattern around six hexagonal courtyards.

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

Set to complete in 2014, the 170,000 square-metre complex will offer 1040 apartments and is located at the intersection of Ayer Rajah Expressway and Alexandra Road in the south west of the city.

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

The stacked arrangement of the structure creates numerous cantilevers and bridges around the exterior spaces. Gardens are located over the rooftops, while staircases are positioned at the overlaps between blocks.

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

Other communal features include a lotus pond, a waterfall, an open-air theatre and a rock garden.

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

Dezeen visited the building last week during a visit to Singapore, as part of the Dezeen and Mini World Tour. The trip included a tour of the city with Colin Seah of local architecture studio Ministry of Design, who also took us to his studio's New Majestic Hotel.

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

OMA unveiled its design for The Interlace in 2009, but the delivery has been carried out under the direction of property developer CapitaLand Residential.

The Interlace by OMA and Ole Scheeren

OMA has also recently completed the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in China and renovated the North Delegates' Lounge at the United Nations buildings in New York in collaboration with Hella Jongerius. See more architecture by OMA »

The Interlace by OMA
Site plan

Other new buildings from Singapore include a hotel featuring balconies covered in tropical plants and contoured surfaces based on rock formations. See more architecture in Singapore »

The Interlace by OMA
Massing diagram

Photos are copyright Dezeen.

  • graham

    Plans? Sections? Too much eye candy on these designy blogs.

  • David

    Such an ironic copy of the Bijlmer. Horizontality is replaced by meaningless interlocking around elevator shafts.

    • H-J

      I see it more as a tribute to the postwar reconstruction effort than an ironic copy. It tries to solve the problems of the original Bijlmer scheme; providing vistas, sunlight and open space, so the interlocking is far from meaningless of course since it is the interlocking that provides these improvements to a scheme that has fascinated Koolhaas for decades.

    • Nick

      Totally agree David. The first thing I thought of when I saw this, especially in the plan, is the Bijlmermeer estate. I’ve got to disagree with H-J too; the problems with the Bijlmer were in part down to large, horizontal blocks surrounded by an ill-defined public space and a lack of integrated shops and services. They both even have a large number of pointless water features for crying out loud. OMA, a Dutch practice, has wilfully learnt nothing from its own country’s history.

  • Luck

    Wow, finally a new neighbourhood lees in Singapore, the pushers thank.

  • yo

    Ironic or not, the blocks didn’t need to be so generic, which is in fact a euphemism for “ugly”. Bring me the Chinese stock exchange tower any time.

  • T,.T

    More like Interlaze.

  • JB

    I actually think this is a fascinating building. It embraces capitalism and is therefore dystopic. It’s critical of utopic failures and injects new life into the reality of today’s world. It brings lightness to a precedent that was brutal and heavy. And it is forward thinking by unapologetically celebrating the vertical city. What’s so wrong about these traits?

    Sometimes I feel like there are a lot of OMA haters in the Dezeen comments section. Seems like a bit of a shame but I can’t complain. Everyone is free to say what they want.

  • ep

    I’ve seen it in person. It’s totally hideous and imposing. WAY too big and completely unrelated to its surroundings. It just looks like massive chunks plopped down onto the ground. Singapore’s tropical climate is so well-suited for indoor/outdoor living and balconies, which some of these apartments don’t even have. Bit of a shame.

  • spadestick

    There are some awkward units caused by this configuration of overlapping blocks. They are the ones directly under the bridges. But overall, it definitely lends iconic value to the rest of the island. The ghetto-like feel of neighbouring blocks being too close for comfort, is just slightly better than the majority of apartments throughout Singapore, but definitely not worth the beginning prices of 1.5million pounds upwards per tiny apartment.

    • gordon

      It’s SGD. Spore went indie years ago from the God save the queen empire.

  • Simon

    Looks dated already… deary me.

  • Christine

    Really great and inspiring for Asia. It totally make sense in the Singapore context and for an Asian population fond of density with a conservative way of living. A perfect enclose tropical ghetto for wealthy, middle class people. It is an ironic twist, a post-modern Bijlmer done with forward thinking an example for the very conservative Asian market.

  • Zorba22

    This is not by OMA at all. It is by Ole Scheeren. And that is far from the same thing.

  • Zorba22

    This is terribly designed with poor thought to the intense heat and torrential rainfall that Singapore is subject to. It is a great example of an Occidental approach that is totally misplaced in the context. I cannot even imagine the maintenance hell of preventing fungus and mould and moss off those huge cantilevered surfaces that stretch over people’s heads.

    • Jason woodrue

      If you got a fungus problem in your orifice, don’t assume the rest of us have.

  • studio

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  • Moder

    Engineering building of the Highway Ministry of the Georgian SSR, Tbilisi, Georgia. 1975.

  • JD Carling

    I dig it :) FUN.