Article by Nick Shannon Residential Living at the Paterson Collection, by Ong Ong , in Singapore Landscape architects hold a huge responsibility to design environments that people will occupy for years to come. The decisions we make have a direct impact on the everyday lives of the end users, which is a very powerful idea. We have the potential to create a positive influence in other people’s lives. Bringing the function and aesthetic of a landscape to the forefront of a design is one of the ways to create an impactful design, and this is accomplished again and again by Ong Ong in Singapore. Imagine a lush, tropical resort, and then imagine living there every day. This is what the Paterson Collection exemplifies, creating a connected landscape experience that functions, educates, and performs.We will take a closer look at the Paterson Collection condominium complex designed by Ong Ong, and the role of landscape design and its daily impact on the residents who live there.
Residential Living at The Paterson Collection
The Paterson Collection is a complex of two 19-story condominiums located in the River Planning Valley of Singapore. It is part of a larger residential community located between Orchard Road (the city’s main drag) and the Singapore River. The River Valley district is a popular eating spot for locals, and provides a high quality of living within the urban environment in close proximity to the downtown core.Singapore is one of the world’s greenest cities, with almost half of its land covered by vegetation. This project certainly fits within its context, incorporating lush plantings with and around a dense residential development that utilizes the land in a sustainable manner.
One of the most important aspects of landscape design is to create a connected experience. The building, hardscape, amenities, and plantings need to complement each other and work together to create comfortable spaces that people will want to use. The placement of the buildings at the Paterson Collection, and how the landscape interweaves between and around them, gives the design a curvilinear and coherent quality. This is coupled with small, intimate areas and larger gathering spaces to give people a choice of interaction – something that is essential in designing any public space! You never know how people will use the space, so it is best to provide a diversity of options so they can choose a use based on their needs at the time.
The tropical resort vibe really pushes through the whole experience of this site. The premise of the project is to provide residential living with family amenities and a modern, tropical resort feel. It makes people want to be outside and is strengthened through bringing a recreational aspect to the forefront of the design.
Multi-Functional Tropical Resort
The condominium complex provides family-oriented amenities that bring people outdoors into the landscape to exercise and enjoy their surroundings. One of the ways to stay active in this complex is to workout in the lap pool, surrounded by plantings that provide shade and privacy. There is also exercise equipment in the spa pool, coupled with hydrotherapy jets so you can enjoy a nice day of relaxation after getting in a workout. There is even a playground for kids with a soft rubber ground surface, providing amenities to families who live in the towers. Adults can take advantage of the second-story terrace that features a pool and a gym, which extends outdoors with yet more equipment.
Landscape architects change the way people interact with their environment with landscape design. One of the most effective ways to connect people with nature is through planting design. The value of vegetation goes far beyond its dollar value – plants provide ecological function, a particular aesthetic quality, and can enhance design decisions such as form, privacy, scale, and feeling. The tropical planting palette at the Paterson Collection allows residents to discover the native flora and fauna of Singapore, while providing aesthetic appeal. A variety of flowering trees, broad-leafed shrubs, and smaller grasses combine to showcase a variety of textures and characters that changes throughout the space. These plants also provide value through habitat and their ecological function. The native plants used in this design filter excess rainwater through a bio-swale and bio-pond. These are not your typical bio-swales either; they are covered with dense plantings, educational signs, and the bio-pond has a timber bridge that crosses over the center to allow for even more interaction with the stormwater feature.
Being Immersed in the Vegetation
Take a walk on the timber bridge and feel completely immersed in vegetation. The diversity of plantings really evokes a sense of the natural condition, and large rocks complement the concrete structure of the building. Flowering trees provide a canopy overhead while smaller grasses and shrubs function to filter the rainwater. The bio-swale features a gravel channel in the center for water conveyance, emphasizing the importance of utilizing stormwater. Vegetation surrounds the channel and functions in filtering pollutants and absorbing water. When you walk on the path bordering the bio-swale, you have tall, broad-leafed grasses by your side and feel connected to its function.
The Sky Gardens
The gardens are not only on the ground, but in the sky as well! The site features a 3-meter-high green wall and two sky terraces that provide an elevated experience with views of the landscape and the city. Small trees and shrubs border the space and you get the experience of being in the canopy of the trees. The sky terraces are highly designed and specified to fit within the structure of the building, and also feature a pool as well! The plant palette works seamlessly with the resort vibe, while providing added ecosystem function. This is made possible through the careful choreography of water.
A tropical resort isn’t complete without water. The Paterson Collection features three main pools that are perfect for relaxation and recreation, as well as the bio-swale and pond water conveyance features. The wading pool is designed with a sloped edge to mimic a beach setting, and a modern continental dock is a natural extension of the building to the pool.
50-Meter Lap Pool
Raised concrete planters separate the vegetation from the deck, where the vegetation overflows and becomes part of the space. This pool is accompanied by a spa pool with hydrotherapy jets and an aqua gym, with a hot tub on one side of the pool deck, with lounge seats. There is even a 50-meter lap pool in the rear side of the development, the perfect place to get in a workout. The undulating forms of the pool piece together the water and wooden deck in a complementary manner, and create a variety of spaces to relax. Plantings border the pools to bring the natural environment up close, and function to provide shade and privacy.The sky terraces also have pools, providing the perfect place to relax and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city and the lower gardens. This is the perfect place to relax and live in a tropical setting that is reminiscent of a resort. What a nice theme for a residential development!
Modern Tropical Resort
Not only do the plantings and landscape function, but they evoke Singapore’s tropical vibe. A resident of these buildings will experience and live within it everyday, and feel a sense of connectedness to nature. This is what we get to design; a sense of responsibility and stewardship that people need in their lives! Would you want to live here? What is your favorite aspect of the design?
Full Project Credits For Paterson Collection :
Project Name: Paterson Collection Designers: Ong Ong Location: Singapore Area: 5,791.50 square meters Date of completion: 2014 Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
Article by Nick ShannonPublished in