Urban Design Studio I: Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University

The Pinnacle@Duxton, Singapore

Category : PRECEDENTS · No Comments · by July 20, 2014

Completed Date: 2009

Cost: S$279 million

Construction Started Date: April 2005

Height: 156m/512ft

Floor Count: 50 Stories & basement carpark

Architect: Arc Studio Architecture + Urbanism & RSP Architectures Planners and Engineers

Location: Cantonment Road, Singapore

Uploaded By: Zhengyang Andy Wang


The Pinnacle @ Duxton is a 2.5-hectare residential complex in Singapore. The project features for the world’s two longest sky garden of 500 meters (1600 feet) each.  All seven towers that from the Pinnacle @ Duxton are the world’s tallest public housing buildings with a total 1848 units. Unique among the Housing and Development Board (HDB) developments, these units are designated as  special types, S1 and S2, having altogether 35 different unit variations for buyers to choose from – with dissimilar combinations of features such as extended bays, balconies, bay windows and planter areas.




The project is built in a pre-existing fabric surround with high rise lofts with an average height about 30 to 40 stories, the openness of the site and the architectural context made it possible for a project in this scale constructed in a way as the architects designed. The projects have innovations in different aspects including circulation, unit organization, public space, shared space and urban form. On the ground, a new architectural surface flows over the car park and services, creating a lush environmental deck that connects strategically with the existing urban network while forming a green lung for the city. Multiple pathways, connections and landscape bands were created in the recognition that residents want a fast and convenient way to reach home but might also want the option of a slower, more relaxing path for recreation. This innovation creates a better walking quality for pedestrians as well as avoiding the congestions among different types of traffic.


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The building features sky garden, on the other hand, is the representatives of the innovation of public and shared space. Continuous sky gardens on the 26th and 50th stories weave through all seven tower blocks, which are placed in an open and porous arrangement to reduce the perception of density. The sky gardens create almost 50% more shared space for residents, providing diverse spaces that become an extension of the living environment for residents. They also function as areas of refuge during fires and allow the sustainable sharing of infrastructure and mechanical services. The integration of all seven blocks effectively reclaims the ground from car parks and services for the community. By raising it from the road level and seamlessly stitching it to the city, the ground successfully mediates between the private and public realm. Together with the sky gardens, the deck becomes a social dynamo, encouraging interaction and communal activities.

As the ground level left for public function, the project leaves more potential for future development to engender social collectivity.Within the development, residents enjoy the convenience of shops, a food court, an education center, a childcare center, and two community centers. Beyond the development, residents are served by two train stations which link them to the island-wide mass rapid transit system and bus stops at the development’s doorstep. As a public housing project, The Pinnacle@Duxton displayed great concern for security, maintainability and cost effectiveness. The project addressed a wide spectrum of social, political, and cultural issues with simplicity and clarity while demonstrating sensitivity to the relationship between high-rise, high-density living and the human scale. More than this, The Pinnacle@Duxton redefines public housing for Singapore and possibly the world. The project demonstrates that high-rise, high-density housing is livable and sustainable. It boldly demonstrates a sustainable and livable environment for urban high-rise, high-density homes, and initiates an innovative typology of public communal spaces that are metaphorically reclaimed from the air. By connecting buildings, The Pinnacle@Duxton paved the way for a new form of urbanism where buildings are no longer isolated monoliths but rather an integrated network working together to form a greater whole.

The project is following the Build To Order Program directed by the Housing Development Board, which is a flat allocation system that offers flexibility in timing and location for owners buying a new HDB flats in Singapore. Eligible buyers planning to shift into a new HDB apartment in the near future, can apply for apartments in their preferred location from specific sites launched. Tender for construction will be called only when most of the apartments in a specific contract 65~70% or more have been booked, otherwise, the project will be aborted.









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