The Sandcrawler, Singapore
Andrew Bromberg, Assoc. AIA
Designed for Lucasfilm, the client’s specific requests required a certain height and a specific sloping topography. The guidelines also regulate the minimum amount of mass on the enclosure. The design approaches these guidelines deliberately to fulfill the viability requirements but with strong civic quality as a statement for the local headquarters. The result is the building floating up to 13 meters above the ground below. The open space is landscaped in a natural, overgrown manner. The “taught” external metallic glass skin allows privacy on the more exposed faces and presents a more aerodynamic appearance, while clear glass is utilized in the end faces of the wings, into the courtyard elevations and wrapping under the vessel’s soffit maximizing “perceived” volume within the deck. A state-of-the-art 100-person theatre needed a double high zone and was placed on the upper levels of the lower, end user zone and immediately below the leased tenant spaces, in the same zone for the gallery, conferencing and pre-function facilities. Slightly visible through the metallic skin to the outside and openly visible to the courtyard, this feature further distinguishes this building from being considered purely just an office building. The external metallic glass skin allows for good solar protection. The skin is cut away on the lower edges and uses a low-iron clear glass which is utilized in the end faces of the wings, into the courtyard elevations as well as wrapping under the vessel’s soffit, to reduce the aperture moving up to reduce solar gain into the office floors and to the deck below. On the exposed wing faces added planting and green terraces hang down, protecting these zones from solar gain but also tying the vessel into landscape below.
Photos by Jared Chambers
"This innovative building takes the form of a regional headquarters but with a strong civic intent, and therefore reflects an intentionally diverse design approach. The way in which this was interpreted in architectural terms was greatly admired by the jury. Equally the jury was impressed with the way that the plan form incorporates green terraces with a layered quality of spaces. These are designed to provide shading as part of the overall structure, allowing for good solar protection which helps to integrate the design within the overall landscape setting."