as part of an invited competition proposal for a future-oriented high-rise office in singapore, serie architects has proposed ‘tower of tables’ — an architectural reaction to current climatic challenges. responding to its tropical context, the project re-imagines the tower as a series of stacked pavilions, compartmentalizing four to six storey workspace communities with surrounding landscape terraces and facilitating the collaborative nature of contemporary office-based work. the tower is complemented with a flexible podium that includes a central courtyard with four circular pavilions. these can be used for meetings or as breakout spaces.
all images courtesy of serie architects
serie architects says that the proposal reduces carbon emissions by addressing construction, energy consumption, and energy generation. ‘taken together the three strategies reduce carbon emissions per m2 by over 60%,’ the design team explains. ‘with mass-engineered timber (MET), the total embodied carbon emission can be reduced by 50%. innovation in comfort and energy design can reduce electrical energy demand of the office spaces by 30% while on-site photovoltaics can produce approximately 20% of the building’s electrical energy demand.’
the tower’s table form is defined by its innovative structural concept. ‘the tower core and structural frame of each pavilion is made of steel while intermediate floors are constructed of a hybrid of steel and timber,’ the architects continue. ‘by replacing four intermediate floors with met floorplates, the total embodied carbon per table is about 0 kg per m2 of office area, resulting in a carbon neutral high-rise.’
the design of the façade maximizes daylight, while minimizing glare and solar heat gain. meanwhile, energy efficient ‘adaptive cooling’ replaces conventional air conditioning. the result is a more than 50% reduction in electrical use compared to a typical building of the same size. as well as minimizing energy consumption, the proposal maximizes energy production with about 20% of the total electrical energy demand harvested on site. photovoltaic cells are placed on all roof surfaces and embedded into the lamella that shade the building’s glazing.
‘with an emphasis on creating lively informal workspaces, the project accommodates contemporary and emerging models of office work,’ serie architects explains. ‘generous and flexible layouts achieved through the efficient design of services mean that the project also anticipates ways of working not yet known. its considered response to climate is inherent to the architecture. neither appendage nor afterthought, material and energy flows are placed at the fore. the result is a new ‘image’ of the contemporary high-rise in the tropics.’