DUO, Buro Ole Scheeren

The DUO towers are an act of urban reconciliation. Conceived to knit together a previously disparate part of the city, DUO integrates the surrounding context around a 24-hour accessible public plaza, forming a new civic nexus for Singapore. Singapore consistently ranks as one of Asia’s most livable cities. However, it’s increasingly dominated by isolated towers that favor exclusion over social connectivity. Rather than functioning as a piece of individual and self-referential architecture, DUO is a sensitive insertion into Singapore’s urban fabric that unites a group of existing buildings through spatial integration and establishes a coherent overall urban figure. It repairs a broken piece of the city and celebrates public life as the central quality of a socially responsible urban environment. The project comprises two expressive sculptural towers that have been dynamically carved to create a series of circular urban spaces – a kind of “urban poché” that co-opts adjacent buildings and symbiotically inscribes the two towers into their context. A series of vertical offsets and cantilevers further articulate the towers’ silhouette and generate a series of elevated public spaces. DUO integrates living, working and retail with public gardens, cultural happenings, and a diverse urban context. While DUO’s two towers contain the main functional elements – one tower accommodates 660 residences and the other corporate offices and a five-star hotel operated by Andaz – the structures dematerialize as they reach the ground, opening out into a porous public landscape.