WOHA are a Singapore based Architect’s firm that has come to specialise in green buildings. They have several iconic buildings in the city, and one of the latest is the Oasia Hotel. I’ve been looking at sustainable cooling recently, and this is a fine example of innovative cooling in a tropical context.
The Oasia Hotel is a 27 storey high-rise tower, and it has been clad in aluminium mesh so that climbing plants can grow on it. This living external cover shades the building and keeps it cool, while enhancing biodiversity right in the downtown of Singapore. It’s natural cooling and biophilic architecture on a grand scale, and a dramatic alternative to the curtain walls of glass and air conditioning of most skyscrapers. As the rainwater-irrigated creepers grow, the architect hopes it will eventually look “furry, almost like an animal.”
The building is also interrupted by large terraces. These create public space throughout the tower, and also provide natural light and ventilation. All 314 rooms and 100 office units are naturally ventilated, with a chilled water cooling system to reduce heat when needed.
The building has won a host of awards and is popular with guests, though you might want to spare a thought for the guys who have to trim the plants.