Architecture Office design Retail design

Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed Robinson Tower addresses compact site space challenge

August 24, 2019

The Robinson Tower, a 24,000 m² boutique retail and office tower, was recently inaugurated in Singapore. Designed by the international firm  Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, (KPF) in collaboration with Singapore-headquartered global practice Architects 61, the faceted building addresses the socio-cultural aspects of the city, creating a singular experience.

18 Robinson, Singapore

Robert Whitlock, KPF Design Principal, says: “Robinson Tower follows in the footsteps of KPF’s work at Marina Bay Financial Centre, which first introduced the mixed-use model to Singapore. Even though that project was massive in scale, with a park integrated into its plan, this distinctive tower similarly embodies the integration of context, culture, and sustainability with architecture. Our impactful scheme, and its successful execution taps into KPF’s expertise designing iconic buildings for global cities, as well as for buildings on constrained or otherwise tight sites in dense, urban areas.”

Its form is determined by the constraints of a V-shaped plot, with the building creating an interface between Market Street and Robinson Road, two of the arterial roads in the vibrant Central Business District. Designed as a terminus, physically and programmatically, the structure’s composition distinguishes two different entities: a retail platform on the ground floor topped by a garden, and a high impact 20-storey vertical volume of offices, which provides a view of the adjacent marina is revealed. The configuration increases natural light in the interior spaces, integrating the different components of the structure into one cohesive unit.

18 Robinson, Singapore

“At its core, this project presented the overlapping challenges of planning Class-A office space on an irregular site with environmental checks. However, these conditions ultimately drove the design’s success, all the while capitalising on the expanse of Robinson Road’s visual corridor. The dynamic tower frees itself from the canyon of stoic facades, integrating green space at unique vantage points and ultimately cultivating the public realm alongside a boutique, mixed-use programme,”  shares Bruce Fisher, KPF Design Director.

From each angle, the tower reveals a different face and responds differently to its urban surroundings. The lower podium, is similar in scale to adjacent structures, creating a contextual relationship with the angular roof form and terracotta texture of Lau Pa Sat. The green opening on the roof of this building is publicly accessible due to Singapore’s Landscape Replacement Policy of 2014. The atrium houses the office lobby, retail, and food and beverage spaces. KPF also opened its Singapore office within the tower.
Images courtesy: Tim Griffith ©

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