Ole Scheeren's "vertical village" named World Building of the Year 2015

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World Architecture Festival 2015: Ole Scheeren has won World Building of the Year 2015 for The Interlace, a series of apartment blocks stacked diagonally across one another to frame terraces and gardens.

Conceived as the antithesis to tower blocks, The Interlace is made up of 31 apartment buildings that have been arranged and stacked in a honeycomb arrangement to frame eight large hexagonal courtyards.

The Interlace by Ole Scheeren

Scheeren led the project, which occupies a site in Singapore, while working at Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA. He now runs his own Beijing-based studio Buro Ole Scheeren, which has now expanded to Berlin and Bangkok.


Related content: see all our stories from World Architecture Festival 2015


Speaking to Dezeen in an exclusive interview last year, he described The Interlace as a "blatant reversal of a typology".

The Interlace by Ole Scheeren

"Housing has become simply compressed into a very standardised format. I think this project shows in a really dramatic way, and also in a significant scale, that something else is possible," he said.

Six-storey blocks are stacked up in twos, threes and fours, creating three peaks of 24 storeys. The large multi-storey voids between blocks allow light and ventilation across the site.

The Interlace by Ole Scheeren

The project beat 16 other category winners announced on day one and day two of the festival, including a bamboo community centre in Vietnam  and a domed transport hub in New York.

The Interlace by Ole Scheeren

Last year the World Building of the Year award went to The Chapel community centre by a21 studio, which was built using recycled materials and colourful fabric. In an interview with Dezeen, architect Toan Nghiem described the project as a "big colourful lantern".

Dezeen is media partner for both the World Architecture Festival and Inside Festival, which concluded today at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference centre in Singapore.

Photography is by Iwan Baan.

  • Jeroen van Lith

    It’s also by OMA.

  • Guest

    So this is the world’s answer to tower blocks? Rollicking fun for apartment owners tucked under 15 or 20 metres of light-robbing concrete overhang. I’ll take a Mies.

  • H-J

    I think it should say ‘OMA/Ole Scheeren’s “vertical village” named World Building of the Year 2015’.

  • Francoise Benka

    They must have had the Lego Architecture set.

  • mik

    “World’s worst Building of the Year 2015”. I would agree on that!

  • spadestick

    Overall it is a nice concept, but there are fundamentally flawed issues with this development, as “Guest” has described.

    It is horrible to live under some of those bridging portions. Trust me, I have been in them, traffic noise below gets reflected directly into the interiors. That is why those are sold for less – substandard units.

  • Hi, Ole Scheeren led the project while working at OMA, as we mention in the story. When Ole left OMA and set up his own company he took the project with him. Best, Ross

    • Xt

      Fair point. I guess I am surprised OMA hasn’t pushed back on all Ole’s self-promo using OMA projects (big pants etc). Alas, who am I to say anything, perhaps they have an agreement.

      I sound like an internet troll at this point so I will shut my pie hole. Well-written article and beautiful pictures as always from Dezeen!

  • Davide

    There have been examples of this principle – built and unbuilt – and nearly all of them were more intriguing. I can’t see why stacking standard apartment blocks in a certain scheme makes something world-class architecture. More of a world-class performance to convince someone to build it…

  • Delbert Grady

    I’m gonna Revit and Revit and Revit all the way up.

  • McKinley Burkart

    What a neat concept. The stacked buildings provide new dimensions – much more interesting than a single-structure. Nice!

  • jalves

    I like the concept but the explanation given by the guys who run this festival is very shallow.