The Interlace by OMA / Ole Scheeren wins the inaugural Urban Habitat Award

'The Interlace' Singapore's largest new residential development, high rise buildings centre, surrounding areas of trees and grassy areas, blue cloudy sky
The Interlace, designed by OMA / Ole Scheeren, is one of Singapore's largest new residential developments.
(Image credit: Iwan Baan )

The Interlace, the latest residential offering by OMA / Ole Scheeren for CapitaLand Singapore, is not only one of the largest developments of its kind on the Asian island, but is also one of its most ambitious too, promoting a radical new approach to modern housing. The innovative design has just been selected by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago as the winner of the inaugural worldwide Urban Habitat Award for its 'groundbreaking contribution to the urban realm and social sustainability'.

This is tall architecture - but not as you know it. The design addresses issues of density and outdoor space in a residential setting with a unique twist (opens in new tab). Standing at a relatively modest 24 storeys tall, the development spans an impressive 170,000 sq m of built floor area. This is achieved by a tactical design decision; the architects created a gradual, 'stepping' effect in the complex's overall form, eschewing the more conventional slender and tall skyscraper shape.

An elegant composition of 31 apartment blocks spanning six floors each, The Interlace allows for plenty of openings and green communal outdoor space in between that strategically break up its volume. Offering contemporary living in an enviable address - Singapore's leafy Southern Ridge - the structure contains over 1,000 condominium units of varying sizes. The architects liken the interlocking volumes to a 'vertical village', which also includes a selection of public amenities, such as a clubhouse, games rooms and a theatre, that aim to promote a sense of community.

Environmental sustainability was also high on the team's agenda. Water bodies, for example, have been strategically placed within the project's wind corridors, which allow the vapour to cool down local air temperatures naturally. This makes the outdoor spaces in the sweltering city more comfortable for the residents to use.

Sitting within a 9km green belt of parks and recreational facilities, the Interlace offers wide views of its verdant surroundings, while all its levels are bathed in abundant natural light. Even the basement parking space remains bright and airy, thanks to carefully planned open-air voids on the ground level's landscaping. 

Close up of daytime shot of 'The Interlace' complex, tall building with multiple windows, lower ground of greenery of trees, shrubs, plants and pool areas, blue cloudy skys lit up,

Its innovative design has just been selected by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago as the winner of the inaugural Urban Habitat Award

(Image credit: Iwan Baan )

Daytime aerial view of 'The Interlace' urban habitat building roof tops and pool areas, surrounding landscaping of trees, shrubs and grass verges, roads, adjacent red brick roof tops

The building addresses issues of density and outdoor space in a residential setting through its clever design, spanning an impressive 170,000 sq m of built floor area in a relatively modest 24-storey height

(Image credit: Iwan Baan )

Angel shots of The Interlace urban complex, white building layered with levels of glass windows, greenery surrounding the buildings, cloudy sky

This is achieved through a gradual, 'stepping' effect to the complex's overall form, instead of the more conventional slender and tall skyscraper shape

(Image credit: Iwan Baan )

Daytime aerial view of 'The Interlace' urban habitat building roof tops, balconies and pool areas, surrounding landscaping of trees, shrubs and grass verges, roads

Environmental sustainability was high up in the team's agenda, with water bodies strategically placed across the development to cool down local air temperatures naturally

(Image credit: Iwan Baan )

Ground level images of 'The Interlace' urban complex, surrounding shrubs, plants and trees, lit up areas shining lights into the walk path walkways, grey sky

Extensive, carefully planted greenery complements the living units 

(Image credit: Iwan Baan )

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).