HomeDo You Know?Why this court tower doesn’t have a façade?

Why this court tower doesn’t have a façade?

35-storey State Courts Towers in Singapore is the tallest government building in Singapore. Opened in 2019, this 178-meter-tall building costing US$334.6 million contains 53 courtrooms and 54 hearing chambers. This civic building in Singapore has many unique features and has no external façade. Do you know why?

The structure was designed by Serie + Multiply Consultants and CPG Consultants is the project’s Principal Consultant and Architect.

The structure is actually two slender buildings, the Court Tower and Office Tower, connected by 39 link bridges. The Courtroom Tower is an open frame supporting a series of shared landscape terraces on which the courtrooms are placed. It has no external facade. In a metaphorical sense, according to the architects, this represents the openness and impartiality of the judicial process. The outdoor terraces feature high rise greenery and are designed to allow views across the city thereby reinforcing the civic role of the building.

The intention was to bring together two typical forms of architecture from the immediate area, namely the high-rise and the shophouse. These two forms are combined into a single frame so that the new building is at once familiar and yet excitingly new. The courtrooms are clad in six-metre tall modular pigmented pre-cast panels. Inspiration is drawn from the colours and textures of the tiled roofs in the adjacent historic Chinatown shophouses.

The relationship between the city and its civic buildings was the primary interest for the project with the new courts complex building symbolically open and accessible to the public.

Outdoor terraces feature high rise gardens and are designed to allow views across the city thereby reinforcing the civic role of the building. The gardens will also play an important role in filtering tropical sun.

The project won via an open design competition jury was led by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie. In a joint statement, the judges praised the ‘simple but dignified’ design which ‘complements the conserved octagon without trying to outshine it.’

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