Guoco Tower, 2019 ULI Global Awards for Excellence Winner

Image Credit: Guocoland (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Location: Singapore
Developer: Guocoland
Designer: Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Site Size: 3.7 acres (1.5 ha)

Jury Statement: Guoco Tower has integrated vibrant public spaces into an iconic, sustainable, and transit-oriented building complex, helping to reposition the district by attracting residents and spurring growth.

Located in downtown Singapore’s historic Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar, Guoco Tower is the tallest tower in the city-state. It is a mixed-use tower that incorporates office space with retail, hospitality, residential, and park space. The tower serves as a connector between the historic Chinatown and the central business district (CBD), with its taller towers closer to the CBD and the shorter hotel tower nearest the historic district. It has spearheaded the creation of the Tanjong Pagar business improvement district to promote the district as a place where people want to live. The building sits on top of a transit station, and incorporates it into its design, with an underground pedestrian network that also hosts retail. The retail tenants were carefully selected to take existing local retailers into account so as not to cannibalize traditional stores while still drawing in the millennial workers they were seeking to attract.

Cross-section of the base of Guoco Tower. Image Credit: SOM
Aerial view of Guoco Tower. Image Credit: SOM








One of the most unique parts of Guoco Tower is the City Room, a public outdoor retail and art space that is under a giant canopy. The City Room is a versatile space that can be turned into a massive yoga studio, concert venue, or any number of event spaces. In addition to the City Room, eight different levels play host to elevated gardens, planted with native species and conserved trees. The canopy over the City Room is made with building-integrated photovoltaics, which source up to 2 percent of the development’s energy, filter light, and help cool the space below. The tower is aiming for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification and has been certified Green Mark Platinum.

Aerial view of the City Room and adjacent green space. Image Credit: Guocoland (Singapore) Pte Ltd
The City Room is a flexible outdoor event space. Image Credit: Guocoland (Singapore) Pte Ltd








Guoco Tower was designed to put the public realm at the forefront, which is evident in the shape of the building, which was designed to look like the Chinese characters for “entry” and “people” when viewed from the east and west, respectively.



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