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The hotel-in-the-tower has sprouted ever taller since the Waldorf Astoria relocated to a 47-storey skyscraper in 1931; this was the tallest example of the type in the world until Stalin’s Hotel Ukrainia was completed in 1957. In recent years, hotels have become standard anchor tenants of skyscraper developments, hollowing out their tips as plunging atria. These have, however, been sealed volumes – until WOHA designed a hotel for Singapore, its upper reaches a huge cylindrical trellis open to the sky. There are also three enormous sky gardens carved into the building’s lower levels, and lush planting that spreads across the porous red mesh of the facade in the form of creepers. In a tropical context where the tall building is generally an air-conditioned bubble, this design revisits Charles Correa’s proposition that vernacular traditions of openness need to be reconsidered as a means of reconnecting the modern building with its environment.


Oasia downtown drawings