GKD - Lively outlook in Singapore
Observation tower made from stainless steel mesh as visual highlight of a revitalisation initiative
The smallest nation by area in Southeast Asia has been struggling with the scarcity of living space and recreational areas for decades. With a population density of 7,565 inhabitants per square kilometre, Singapore is the world’s most densely populated state after Monaco. Tower blocks and dwindling natural areas are the result. Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) is now responding to the call for naturally and environmentally sustainable enhancement of urban areas with its campaign “Remarking our Heartland”. Yishun Town in the north of the country, one of three pilot cities, has become one of the pioneers of the revitalisation. The Yishun Pond reservoir created as a water supply in the 1980s has become a nearby recreational area which meets the needs of both nature and the urban population. The visual highlight of this new nature and lifestyle oasis is an ornate observation tower clad with stainless steel mesh from GKD –Gebr. Kufferath AG from Düren, Germany.
New life is the key idea of the revitalisation initiative and leads through the grounds of Yishun Pond like a green thread. Even the architecture of the new observation tower “The Spiral @ Yishun” reflects this idea. Inspired by nature, the construction method and materials of the tower suggest the metamorphosis of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon and spreading its wings. A 94-metre-long, fully accessible ramp leads visitors up around the bulbous spiral steel construction. Panoramic terraces on three levels invite you to look out over Yishun Pond from different perspectives. The tower takes its particular look primarily from the semitransparent cladding made from stainless steel mesh of the Escale 7x1 type, which blends seamlessly into the natural environment with its partial green coating. A total of 130 square metres of the spiral mesh, which can be shaped in three dimensions, form the shell of the accessible sculpture, which was completed in February 2012.
Individual formability, transparency and colouring according to the planners’ specifications, as well as corrosion resistance and top durability in the tough Southeast Asian climate make the GKD spiral mesh the ideal material for the creative project by the architects at Peridian Landscape Architecture. As a distinctive landmark for revitalisation and sustainability, the observation tower offers an impressive view of the new life of Singapore’s suburb.