The Star

Singapore

There can't be many other mixed developments which mix a 5,000-seat auditorium with a working retail centre
in quite such a monumental and astonishing way. The vast auditorium is perched 40 metres up in the air
on a forest of slanting concrete legs around and between whose lower reaches twine several floors of shops
and eateries from whose levels snake a series of staircases and escalators up to pre-performance spaces and bars
adjacent to the theatre. The great cathedral in which all these transiting theatre-goers, shoppers
and casual fast food patrons conduct their activities is open to the humid Singaporean atmosphere
and yet its climate is pleasant, controlled mostly by the shape of the building.
The building is a collaboration between two private organisations, Rock Productions, the commercial arm of a charismatic church, the New Creation Church and a hard nosed and experienced Singapore developer CapitaMalls Asia.
They agreed to build a property with 24,000 square metres of rentable floor space and a state of the art performance venue for an audience of 5,000 people in a floor space of 38,000 square metres. Supporting this is 24,000 sq m of retail space on four levels.
The first big surprise of Andrew Bromberg of Aedas's design is that
the enormous 5,000-seat auditorium,by far the largest such auditorium in Singapore, is propped up at the top of the building by vast, raking columns. Its underbelly serves as the ceiling for the 33 m high grand cathedral, open to the elements but sheltered from them by the bulk of the auditorium above.
The second very pleasant surprise is that
in the hot wet humid Singapore climate and in the vast open spaces of the grand space and its surrounding open shop fronts the passive, sustainable environmental controls actually work. It is possible to register a difference in free air temperature by walking from one zone in the Grand Foyer to another so it seems likely that something has worked.
The cladding also contributes to the building's sustainable credentials.
Sourced in China where the panels were pre-assembled, the glazing units are high performance triple sheets of glass with a mylar interlayer which reduces solar gain and creates a translucent appearance.
This is such an exceptional building which meets its almost impossible brief of combining utterly different functions in one coherent and heroic structure in a way that nobody from either Western or Eastern architectural traditions could have possibly imagined.

Client

Rock Productions Pte Ltd and CapitaMalls Asia Limited

Involvement

Design and Project Architect

Completion year

2012

Gross area of the entire development

62,000 sq m

Design Director /
Co-design Director /
Project Director

Andrew Bromberg of Aedas

Awards

A&D Trophy Awards 2014

Certificate of Excellence, Architecture (Professional) Commercial, Retail or Office

A&D Trophy Awards 2014

Certificate of Excellence, Architecture (Professional) Mixed-Use

ENR Global Best Projects Awards 2014

Winner, Best Global Project, Retail / Mixed-use Developments

Quality Building Award 2014

Merit Award, Building Outside Hong Kong

A' Design Awards 2013 - 2014

Golden Winner, Architecture, Building and Structure Design
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