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A jumble of horizontal towers

“The Interlace,” a complex of 1,040 apartments in Singapore completed in 2012, was another building Scheeren worked on whilst at OMA, and shows a clever answer to a building restriction that limited the height of the complex to 24 floors. To create a thousand apartment units would have meant building 12 towers. “I felt this little forest of towers in the middle of a huge jungle of green would be fairly absurd,” says Scheeren. Instead, he turned the towers sideways, creating an interlocking structure of buildings, plazas and gardens.

The view from above

“There is a very strong underlying logic to this stacking system,” says Scheeren, who describes the building as a “space generator.” The hexagonal structure opened up giant outdoor communal spaces between the apartment blocks, many including water gardens, performance spaces, even a theater.

An expanse of green

No, not an entrance way, but actually a roof garden on the 13th floor of one of the blocks. Add up the total area of the gardens from the ground floor to the rooftops, and it actually constitutes a 12% expansion of the green space that had originally been available on the 20-acre plot of land. “Of course, that simply illustrates how we are maximizing the space, and in a way giving space back to the people for free,” says Scheeren.