An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign & Tierra Design

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign
A recently completed building with 4 additional floors; the requirement was to replace an unsightly mesh-façade and improve on a bland and uninviting disused space behind it. Located within the prime Singapore Central Business District (CBD), the 1984 building is 10 storeys tall and was originally designed to be environmentally responsive with floors receding inwards with each lower floor. External RC Planters spanning across the building’s 24m width façade was meant for sun-shading.

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign
The addition and alteration (“A&A”) project, with its new mesh-façade and 4 massive columns along the road, formed an external “Atrium” space which juxtaposed neatly with the existing floor plates. To meet local authorities’ stringent compliances, the Atrium space needed to be naturally ventilated for smoke extraction provisions. Although the mesh-facade satisfied the Fire Department’s requirements, aesthetically it did not meet with the new owner’s expectations. The architect, AgFacadesign was hence tasked to redesign the facade and improve the bland Atrium space.

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign
AgFacadesign conceived the idea of a “hanging-garden” upon seeing the unsightly elements on site. To realize the concept, a unique “layered-glass” façade was developed for natural ventilation and smoke disbursements. The existing elements were also exploited and transformed into green features. Detailed considerations were made for maintenance strategies, lighting systems as well as the overall aesthetics. The atrium space was transformed into a “hanging garden” by camouflaging all unsightly elements with vertical and horizontal planting. Spatial connectivity was further enhanced by strategically locating the glass floors against the massive green-columns, enabling a visual experience of a “cathedral of green” when viewed from the pavement.

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign

A total of 350m² of greenery was achieved by hanging 13,000 potted plants on the walls and columns. This was 135% of the Atrium floor plate area. A further 70 m² of hanging plants were located on the horizontal planters. The project’s Landscape Consultant provided the green pattern designs. Working with the Contractor, they selected all hardy plants with various textures, and incorporated an auto-irrigation system.

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign
The outcome is a “glowing lantern of greenery” at night, made possible by AgFacadesign’s vision of a “hanging garden”.

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign

An Unexpected Hanging-Garden | Singapore | AgFacadesign
158 Cecil Street, Singapore; Completion Date: 25 February 2011

Client | East Coast (Cecil) Investments Pte Ltd, Singapore

Architecture Firm: AgFacadesign, Singapore

Principal Architect & Façade Consultant | Kelvin Kan, RIBA, MSIA

Landscape Consultant | Tierra Design (S) Pte Ltd, Singapore

Quantity Surveyor | Northcroft Lim Consultants Pte Ltd, Singapore

Structural Engineer | KKLim & Associates Pte Ltd, Singapore

M&E Engineer | EMPlus Pte Ltd, Singapore

Main Contractor | Lai Yew Seng (LYS) Pte Ltd, Singapore

Landscape Contractor | Consis Engineering Pte Ltd, Singapore

Lighting Contractor | LYS / Illum-Tec Pte Ltd / Fabulux, Singapore

IMAGE CREDITS | AgFacadesign (AgFd)

About Damian Holmes 3147 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at

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