CapitaSpring is a project designed by BIG and CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati.
Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati - who collaborated on its architecture, public space and digital user experience, respectively - CapitaSpring is a 280-meter-tall high-rise oasis that continues the city’s pioneering vertical urbanism with a diverse neighborhood of restaurants, office space, a serviced residence and sky gardens from the ground all the way up to the 51st floor.
Located at the heart of Singapore’s financial district on the site of a former public car park and a hawker center, the project is defined by a dynamic interplay of orthogonal lines, lush greenery, and contrasting textures. In addition to the abundant sky-gardens and rooftop park, CapitaSpring includes premium Grade A office space, a Citadines serviced residence, a hawker center, restaurants and public spaces.
At multiple elevations, the vertical elements comprising the building’s exterior are pulled apart to allow glimpses into the green oases blooming from the base, core, and rooftop “sky garden”.
On street level, CapitaSpring restores a portion of the historically significant Market Street to the public realm by pedestrianizing the stretch and creating an expanded landscaped area which creates new green breathing space in the high-density CBD for the neighboring tenants and passersby.
CapitaSpring has been accorded Green Mark Platinum & Universal Design GoldPLUS certifications by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. The building also has amenities in support of the sustainable transport vision in the Singapore Green Plan 2030, including 165 bicycle lots, fully equipped end-of-trip facilities and a 600-meter cycling path around the building’s perimeter along Malacca Street and along Phillip Street, which forms part of the Central Area cycling network connecting to Singapore’s larger cycling network.
"When we first got invited to join the architectural competition, we saw a great opportunity to team up and join forces with BIG to achieve a uniquely bold result together. It has been enriching to combine our approach with design and innovation with BIG's skill in architectural scale. As CapitaSpring is open to the public today, I am proud of how we enhanced the public spaces across the building, creating the best experience for all users, leveraging both technology and unprecedented integration with natural elements." Carlo Ratti, Founding Partner, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Director, MIT Senseable City Lab.
A trans-disciplinary team, coordinated by international design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, has developed the winning proposal for the Helsinki Energy Challenge. Titled Hot Heart, the project is based on an archipelago of heat-storing basins with the dual function of storing thermal energy and serving as a hub for recreational activities. The “islands” will also be home to tropical forests and ecosystems from around the world, giving the Finnish capital additional public space and a new educational attraction. Unprecedented in scale, the project was designed by Ramboll, Transsolar, Danfoss Leanheat® and Schneider Electric, with the coordination of OP Financial Group, schlaich bergermann partner and Squint/Opera.
Located off the coast of Helsinki, Hot Heart will be the largest infrastructural facility of its kind. The project consists of a set of 10 cylindrical basins, each measuring 225 meters in diameter. They collectively can hold up to 10 million cubic meters of water. The system functions like a giant thermal battery: low- or negative-cost renewable energy is converted into heat, stored in the tanks and withdrawn into the city’s heat distribution channels during the winter.
Hot Heart was developed as part of the Helsinki Energy Challenge organized by the municipality of Helsinki to accelerate the city’s transition towards carbon-neutrality in heating by 2030. The project is also highly adaptable and could be replicated by other cities with similar climatic characteristics pursuing sustainable heating solutions.
“Production of renewable energy is getting cheaper, but storage is still extremely expensive. Our idea is to use the giant ‘thermal batteries’ to store energy when prices are at low or even negative levels and extract it when required by the district heating system when demand is high. This model would also be applicable to many coastal cities with similar climates,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA. “In addition, Hot Heart offers a unique experience, bringing the natural and artificial worlds together. It is inspired by the Finnish concept of Jokamiehen Oikeudet, which could be translated as ‘every person’s right’: the right to reflect and unwind while peacefully enjoying nature”.
A project by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati. Creative Lead: Italo Rota.
International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, in collaboration with Italo Rota, unveils the Greenary, a residence that revolves around a ten-meter-tall tree at the center of the house. Multiple living quarters encircle the tree’s leafy branches, all the way up to its top. The project advances CRA’s research into new ways of fusing architecture, natural elements, and advanced technological solutions.
Built out of a traditional Italian farmhouse outside the city of Parma, the Greenary (a wordplay of “green-granary”) responds to the idea of biophilia, a scientific hypothesis proposed by noted biologist and Harvard professor E.O. Wilson, which suggests that human beings share an innate desire to live close to nature. This concept is foremost expressed in the 60-year-old ficus tree named Alma standing in the middle of the living space.
To create the ideal setting for the tree to thrive, CRA has completely redesigned the old farmhouse to maximize natural light, installing a ten-meter-tall, south-facing glass wall. The design harnesses technology and the micro-climate of the surrounding area to control the temperature and humidity, so that the tree and the home’s occupants can live together comfortably. Both the windows and the roof can be opened and closed automatically to adjust the amount of sunlight and fresh air entering the house.
The Greenary consists of seven terraced spaces, with three among them above the entrance and three below it. Upon arrival, residents and visitors descend one meter to the main living area and the kitchen, which puts them at eye level with the idyllic meadow outside. The other levels of the house were conceived to form a naturally-inspired journey, throughout which the tree serves as a prominent pillar. Nature is also incorporated in other forms throughout the interior space, such as in flooring that incorporates soil.
“The 20th-century Italian architect Carlo Scarpa once said, ‘Between a tree and a house, choose the tree.’ While I resonate with his sentiment, I think we can go a step further and put the two together,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Much of CRA’s work focuses on the intersection between the natural and artificial worlds. With the Greenary, we are trying to imagine a new domestic landscape built around nature and its rhythm”.