The Interlace, the latest residential offering by Büro Ole Scheeren and OMA Beijing, is not only one of the largest residential developments in Singapore, it also promises to be one of the most ambitious, promoting a radical new approach in contemporary residential design.

It's a tall complex, but not as you know it. While standing 24 storeys, the development spans an impressive 170,000 sq m of floor area. To achieve this, the architects made a tactical design decision: to create a gradual 'stepping' effect rather than follow the usual slender skyscraper form. They composed 31 elegant apartment blocks of six floors each, allowing for plenty of openings and outdoor green spaces that break up the large volumes. This unique twist addresses issues of density and outdoor space in a residential setting and reflects the Interlace designation.

The new effort brings contemporary living to Singapore's lush, tropical Southern Ridges, one of Asia's key addresses. The structure contains a thousand condominium units of varying sizes, complemented by compassionately landscaped outdoor spaces - some public, some private. Together, they form six hexagonal clusters. 'The interlocking volumes form the topography of a vertical village,' say the architects.

Environmental sustainability was high on the architects' agenda. For instance, they strategically placed small bodies of water within defined wind corridors, so, they say, 'evaporative cooling happens along the wind paths, reducing local air temperatures and improving the thermal comfort of outdoor recreation spaces.'

Sitting within 9km of green belt, the Interlace offers wide views of the natural surroundings, while all levels are bathed in the abundant Southeast Asian sunlight. Even the basement parking spaces are bright and airy, thanks to carefully planned open-air voids in the ground-level landscaping.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director 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), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).