Movie: PARKROYAL on Pickering by Woha

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Singapore hotel covered with plants was "inspired by rock formations"

Movie: Wong Mun Summ of WOHA explains how the Singapore studio tried to recreate geological forms in the architecture of PARKROYAL on Pickering, which won the Hotels category at last month's Inside Festival

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA is a 367-room hotel on the edge of Singapore's Central Business District, which features large balconies and terraces covered in 15,000 square metres of tropical plants.

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA, Singapore

"We wanted to create a hotel in a garden," explains Wong. "We have achieved more than 200% of the site area in green replacement. So the green areas in the building are actually larger than the site itself."

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA, Singapore

The balconies are made from layered slabs of contoured concrete, which continue inside the hotel in the reception areas on the ground floor. Wong explains that they were arranged to suggest natural landscapes.

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA, Singapore

"All the inspiration comes from rock formations," he says. "It's a very organic feeling that you get from the building."

He adds: "We wanted to mimic the idea of the sedimentary layer and that is actually quite obvious from the form of the various strata in the building. Each layer is grooved, so that it has more shadows and is more refined."

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA, Singapore

The hotel rooms themselves are more simple in design, but Wong says that the layout of each one is designed in relation to the garden outside.

"We wanted create a very warm feeling that is extending from the gardens," he says. "The hotel rooms are configured in such a way that all of the rooms look into the sky terraces. Not only do you get a city view, you get a garden view."

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA, Singapore

The large windows in the bedrooms are broken up by an irregular pattern of timber mullions, which is replicated by the bespoke furniture and fittings inside the rooms.

"Because we were the architects [as well as the interior designers] we wanted to make sure there was a good transition from architecture to interiors," says Wong. "So the idea was to transform [the windows] into framing structures for the cabinets, the shelves, and even the lamp fittings."

PARKROYAL on Pickering by WOHA, Singapore

Wong says that he believes the hotel can be enjoyed by both passers-by and guests.

"We succeeded in creating a building that the man in the street can relate to," he claims. "Quite often high-rise buildings tend to be very abstract, almost lacking in details. In this case what we have tried to do is humanise the skyscraper.

"It's not just the guests that benefit from it, but also people who walk around in the city."

Wong Mun Summ of Singapore studio WOHA
Wong Mun Summ of Singapore studio WOHA

This movie was filmed at Inside Festival 2013, which took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 2 to 4 October. The next Inside Festival will take place at the same venue from 1 to 3 October 2014. Award entries are open February to June 2014.