|Location||Cantonment Road, Singapore|
|Construction started||April 2005|
|Roof||156 m (512 ft)|
|Floor count||50 storeys & basement carpark|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Khoo Peng Beng,
Lim Khim Guan and
ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism
in Collaboration with
RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd
|Developer||Housing and Development Board|
|Main contractor||Chip Eng Seng Corporation|
The Pinnacle@Duxton is an award-winning 50-storey residential development in Singapore's city center, next to the business district. The project features the world's two longest sky gardens of 500 metres (1,600 ft) each, on both the 26th and 50th floors. All seven connected towers are collectively the world's tallest public residential buildings.
Unique amongst Housing and Development Board (HDB) projects, it is the design winner of a worldwide competition which attracted more than 200 entries. Residences are designated as special types, S1 and S2, having altogether 35 different unit variations – with dissimilar combinations of features such as extended bays, balconies, bay windows and planter areas.
In addition, a viewing gallery on the 52nd storey provides for special events and VIP state visitors. On 8 August 2010, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered his annual National Day message from the gallery. Owing to the sky gardens' popularity as an elevated viewing location for National Day firework displays on 9 August, entry for the day may be publicly balloted.
Pinnacle@Duxton was conferred the 2010 Best Tall Building (Asia and Australasia) award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, as well as the 2011 Urban Land Institute's Global Awards for Excellence. The development has been featured in numerous local and foreign documentaries, including Discovery Channel's "How we invented the World: Skyscrapers"
The Duxton Plain site is historically significant as the site of the first two ten-storey HDB blocks in the Tanjong Pagar area and amongst the oldest built by the HDB in the country. Redevelopment of Duxton Plain was initiated by Singapore's founding Prime Minister, former Minister Mentor and Tanjong Pagar's Member of Parliament for 60 years, Lee Kuan Yew in August 2001. to commemorate the historical significance of the previous blocks.
The following features were required for entry into the competition:
- Accommodation of the adjacent Community Club, which was built by the People's Association in 1960 as part of the first batch of community centres, so that it formed part of the housing community.
- Landscaping strategies that seamlessly extended the adjacent Duxton Plain Park horizontally and vertically into the development by incorporating rooftop and high-level sky gardens.
- Environmental appropriateness and ability to create a strong sense of ownership. The mature trees around the perimeter of the site, and the jambu ayer and nutmeg trees planted by MM Lee in November 1984 and 1989, were also required to be retained and integrated into the landscaped areas.
- Re-siting of plaques commemorating the laying of the foundation stone on 15 March 1963 and the opening ceremony on 10 April 1964 by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
- As a form of subsidised housing, the proposals had to be cost-effective.
To maximise innovation, the design brief and technical requirements were kept to a minimum, with mainly the mandatory requirements specified.
The competition was keenly contested with 202 entries submitted by design agencies around the world.
It was eventually won by two Singapore architecture companies, ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism, in collaboration with RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd. The winning architects called their design "sky houses, flying green" with a goal of giving residents simple and elegant solutions from necessarily low-cost materials. The design (which differed from what was actually constructed) consisted of seven 48-storey tower blocks laid out in the shape of a hook on a 2.5-ha site and linked by skybridges on the 26th and 50th storeys.
The HDB did expressed concern about several features of the original design:
- Boulevards of trees along its skybridges (fear of falling branches).
- Glass panels instead of steel railings for unimpeded views (some people might faint).
- Publicly accessible skybridges linking its seven tower blocks (security threats to residents).
Eventually, some features were modified. Notably, one additional elevated observation and event room was added on the 52nd floor at tower 1C, likely for the purpose of catering to visiting VIPs.
HDB set stringent standards for the construction, the design and finishes required for the tender veered towards private housing standards. Units at The Pinnacle@Duxton were also more fully furnished than the average HDB project. The design exceeded standards of private condominiums so much that it caused concern amongst private developers regarding their future if public housing was developed in a similar manner. The HDB had to reassure them that this project was a one-off special residential development. The Pinnacle@Duxton received much publicity in the media when it was launched in May 2004.
Subsequently, the S$279-million construction contract was awarded to Chip Eng Seng Corporation, the lowest of the bids submitted. The foundation was laid by MM Lee. Fully pre-cast methods were used during construction, which could be 10–15 per cent more expensive than the traditional way of pumping wet concrete all the way to the top. Pre-cast methods involve transporting moulded components to the site and hoisting them up on to the structure.
The showflat was launched on 29 May 2004 when HDB released 528 units under phase 1 of its Build-To-Order system. Units quickly became oversubscribed with the HDB receiving more than a hundred enquiries by telephone and e-mail even before sales began. Originally set to be launched in phases, the HDB subsequently decided to release all the units for sale due to overwhelming response.
The Pinnacle@Duxton project holds the record for the highest average price of new flats purchased directly from HDB, as well as the most expensive unit offered and purchased at $646,000.
The key handing over ceremony was held on 13 December 2009, marking the completion of the project.
All seven buildings are linked at the 26th and 50th floors by skybridges forming a jogging track and sky garden, a feature that is unique for public housing in Singapore. Other facilities include a food centre, daycare centre, underground car park and other sports and recreational facilities.
Buyers are able to choose their flat's layout from combinations of balconies, planter boxes and/or bay windows. Also, the internal lightweight concrete walls can be easily removed and reconfigured by owners.
New fire-safety regulations were also drawn up by the Singapore Civil Defence Force which involved the use of elevators during any evacuation. The Pinnacle@Duxton is the first development to be affected by these regulations. Refugee floors and special firefighting points were also provided for under the new code.
Picture taken near intersection of South Bridge Road and Maxwell Road on 1 April
- HDB's tallest (maybe costliest) flats go on sale, The Straits Times, 29 May 2004
- Longer wait for tallest HDB blocks, The Straits Times, 7 May 2004
- Too stylo, complain condo developers, The New Paper, 2 June 2004
- "View from the Pinnacle". 3 September 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Singaporean PM: All to enjoy fruits of growth". Straits Times. 8 August 2010.
- "New popular spots for aerial view displays of NDP". Channel News Asia. 8 August 2010.
- "CTBUH 9th Annual Awards, 2010". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
- Update on the Duxton Plain Housing Development, Housing and Development Board, 5 December 2003
- 建50层摩天组屋？, Lianhe Zaobao, 26 April 2004
- Duxton Plain Public Housing International Architectural Design Competition, Urban Redevelopment Authority
- The Pinnacle's architect on top of the world, The Straits Times, 4 July 2004
- HDB's Pinnacle: A threat to private developers?, The Straits Times, 19 June 2004
- 3,000 apply for 528 units, The New Paper, 14 June 2004
- Chip Eng Seng wins contract to build The Pinnacle, The Business Times, 17 March 2005
- New Heights, The Straits Times, 13 August 2005
- Construction sector pins hopes on HDB's Pinnacle, The Business Times, 22 June 2004
- When can I book a unit at The Pinnacle?, The Straits Times, 22 May 2004
- All units in HDB's Pinnacle now up for grabs, The Straits Times, 15 June 2004
- About The Pinnacle@Duxton on Pinnacle@Duxton
- Property hunters, the wait is finally over, The Straits Times, 29 May 2004
- Better fire safety for high-rise homes, The New Paper, 20 February 2006
- Refuge floors among fire-safety measures, The Straits Times Forum, 20 December 2007
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