No. 48 . 02 May 2001 
ArchitectureWeek
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One Raffles Link

by ArchitectureWeek

In Singapore, a city of skyscrapers, a new building by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates stands out as the city's first "groundscraper." The design of One Raffles Link nonetheless reflects a Singaporean tradition of efficient urban planning, conserving the city's precious land and allowing it to remain a garden city.

The building spans two cultures, with its ground-level colonnade providing shelter from Singapore's tropical climate and European-style rusticated stonework reminiscent of nearby colonial buildings.

The Urban Site

The building is centrally located in Singapore's Marina District within the extended downtown area. Its occupants enjoy panoramic views to historic Padang and Singapore Harbor.

To the east is Marina City, an area of offices, hotels, and shopping constructed on reclaimed land. To the west is the civic zone which includes Parliament House, the Supreme Court, City Hall, and St. Andrews Cathedral. To the south lie the skyscrapers of the financial and business district.

The east and west faces of One Raffles Link respond differently to the varied districts that surround it. On the east, the building echoes the modern, abstract character of the new Marina District with its towers rising from ground-level shopping malls.

The civic area to the west, by contrast, is made up of lower buildings that reflect their colonial history. They respect the street and create a formal sense of enclosure to public space. The rusticated stonework at the ground level of One Raffles Link relates it to the European tradition of the colonial buildings.  

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