UNStudio is a globally acclaimed architectural firm leading the way in modern-day architecture. Founded by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, this Dutch firm operates in various cities worldwide. UNStudio comprises a team of architects, Urban designers, product designers, and many others with diverse cultural backgrounds and fields of experience, united in their goal to redefine the modern city with a human-centric approach. The firm’s primary objective is to design flexible structures that anticipate future challenges while considering people’s psychological and social behaviours in public spaces. 

UNStudio’s innovative designs have won numerous international awards, emphasising the firm’s commitment to creating sustainable and socially responsible architecture with a significant urban and climatic impact.

The Scotts Tower by UN Studio - Sheet1
The Scotts Tower_©UNStudio

UNStudio’s Scotts Tower is a residential tower located in the heart of Singapore, near Orchard Road (known for Luxury Shopping), with views surrounding the panoramic cityscape of the city.

The 31-storey, 231-unit tower comprises 1 to 3-bedroom apartments and 4-bedroom penthouses, enormous landscaped gardens, various recreational facilities, and private roof gardens for penthouses. 

Design Concept (Vertical Cities) | Scotts Tower

Vertical cities are a concept of high-density urban development that involves building skyscrapers that are designed to accommodate a variety of residential, commercial, and public spaces. Vertical cities aim to maximise the use of limited space in urban areas and create sustainable living environments that are efficient, compact, and accessible.

In vertical cities, residential spaces are typically on higher floors, while commercial and public spaces are on lower floors. This allows for a mix of uses within the same building, making it easier for people to live, work, and play in the same area. Vertical cities often include amenities such as parks, gardens, and other green spaces to provide residents with a sense of community and access to nature.

One of the main advantages of vertical cities is that they can accommodate large populations while taking up a relatively small footprint on the ground. This allows for more efficient use of resources and can help to reduce urban sprawl. Additionally, vertical cities can be designed to be energy efficient, with features such as solar panels and green roofs to help reduce energy consumption.

However, vertical cities also pose challenges, such as the need for effective transportation systems to move people and goods vertically and the potential for overcrowding and social isolation. Thus, proper planning and design are critical to the success of vertical cities.

The Scotts Tower by UN Studio - Sheet2
Stacking of the Tower_©UNStudio

In this project, the architects have conceptualised a newfound- vertical city, reflected in the innovative spatial design. Also, public areas were designed to foster stronger connections within the vertical community composed of sophisticated and creative individuals.

The concept behind The Scotts Tower is a vertical city that integrates various types and sizes of residences. The design incorporates outdoor green spaces penthouse roof gardens, sky terraces, and individual terraces. The tower’s vertical city concept is divided into three scales: the “city,” the “neighbourhood,” and the “home.” Two gestures: the “vertical frame” and the “sky frames unite the green areas and three elements of the vertical city concept.” The vertical frame organises the tower in an urban fashion, dividing the four residential clusters into separate neighbourhoods. The sky frames at the lobby (Level 1 & Level 2) and sky terrace (Level 25) organise the tower’s amenity spaces and green areas.

The Scotts Tower by UN Studio - Sheet3
Composition of the Tower_©UNStudio

Ben van Berkel: “An interesting facet of The Scotts Tower is the way that it reacts to the urban context of Singapore. Instead of the more usual means of planning a city horizontally, we have created neighbourhoods in the sky: a vertical city where each zone has its own distinct identity.”

Personalised Living 

The units are characterized by their high ceilings, measuring at least 3.4 meters in height. They also feature borderless floor spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and contemporary, Avant-Garde designs.

The four residential clusters have been desh has been achieved through various design elements, such as type, scale, distribution, and articulation of outdoor space. Additionally, residents can personalise their units’ interior layout, thanks to a semi-white plan that allows for flexibility in configuration based on individual lifestyles and ambitions. The organization and materialisation of the terrace spaces are directly related to the individual articulation of each cluster within the tower’s main framework. The outdoor spaces are varied and offer a choice of views, with corner terraces providing stunning cityscape panoramas and vistas of the natural landscape surrounding the building.

The Scotts Tower by UN Studio - Sheet4
The Scotts Tower_©Daren Soh

The development takes home and office living to a new level, offering residents access to The Avant-Garde dining terraces, Wi-Fi-enabled meeting pods, a 50-meter lap pool, and fitness and sun decks located on level one. For those seeking even more elevated experiences, the tower offers in-the-sky entertainment facilities such as a jacuzzi, sundecks, and a private party deck on level 25.

The communal recreational facilities are seamlessly integrated with tiered landscape features, creating a harmonious and visually stunning environment. The architects have incorporated Vertical Sky frames as an architectural motif, shaping the tower to suit its urban surroundings and adding structural Definition. These Skyframes serve to highlight the building’s façade, forming a captivating tapestry of physical and spatial variations. The residential clusters have been thoughtfully programmed into the Vertical Skyframes, adding to the building’s unique design.

The Scotts Tower by UN Studio - Sheet5
Neighbourhood & Amenities_©UNStudio

Ben van Berkel: “The balconies, combined with the zoning of the individually framed neighbourhoods, in The Scotts Tower create different scales of detail in the structure; both intricate, smaller details and larger gestural details. In The Scotts Tower, the balconies form part of the interior furniture.”

Gardens & Recreational Features | Scotts Tower

The surrounding landscaped area is extended to the west of the tower, which is further encompassed into the structure by the multi-layered landscaped environment, which connects different recreational spaces to other spaces on the Ground floor.

Various recreational facilities within the landscaped area include a wellness pool, a 50-meter lap pool with a sundeck, a children’s pool, dining & BBQ pavilions, meeting gazebos, and massage & gym gazebos.

The lower sky frame terrace, also known as the ‘sky lobby’, situated eight meters above the building’s access routes, serves as a green gateway to the apartments. By extending the natural landscape of the gardens vertically into the tower, this terrace creates a seamless connection between the outdoor and indoor spaces.

Landscaped Area_©Daren Soh

Above the third cluster, a second sky frame terrace known as the ‘sky garden‘ has been introduced, which provides panoramic views and can serve as a social platform for hosting outdoor events. Residents can enjoy various facilities on this level, including Jacuzzi pools, a swimming pool, and a dining deck.

References List:

  1. The Scotts Tower in Singapore: Unstudio (no date) Archello. Available at: https://archello.com/project/the-scotts-tower-in-singapore (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  2. (no date) Fareast.com.sg. Available at: https://www.fareast.com.sg/en/residential/the-scotts-tower (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  3. Cilento, K. (2012) Scotts Tower / unstudio, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/196987/scotts-tower-unstudio (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 

Image List:

  1. The Scotts Tower (no date) UNStudio. Singapore. Available at: https://www.unstudio.com/image/2018/10/26/dji_0250-405849245.jpg%28mediaclass-masthead-image.4e1a49d738a19641358911833dfb355bf10d147f%29.jpg (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  2. Singapore. Available at: https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5c06/4abc/08a5/e5e6/c000/0324/large_jpg/TST-diag-4neighborhoods.jpg?1543916206 (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  3. Singapore. Available at: https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5c06/4aa3/08a5/e5e6/c000/0323/large_jpg/TST-diag-3scaleConcept.jpg?1543916179 (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  4. Soh, D. (2018) Archdaily. Singapore. Available at: https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5c06/4952/08a5/e5e6/c000/0322/large_jpg/cDarren_Soh_ETS0961_rEdit.jpg?1543915848 (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  5. Analysis Diagram (2018) Archdaily. Singapore. Available at: https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5c06/4ad9/08a5/e5c7/1100/0658/large_jpg/TST-diag-SkyFrames.jpg?1543916234 (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 
  6. Soh, D. (2018) Archdaily. Singapore. Available at: https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5c06/4975/08a5/e5c7/1100/0657/large_jpg/DJI_0160.jpg?1543915878 (Accessed: April 8, 2023). 

Ayush Tapdiya, a Pune-based Architect, currently works on Large-scale Architectural Projects. He finds pleasure in delving into ideas and theories on a wide range of subjects, and particularly relishes engaging in conversations with individuals holding diverse viewpoints. His enthusiasm & optimism fuels everyone around him. He's a goal-oriented person who thrives on challenges and constantly seeks to improve himself.