Solaris is an office building located in the Fusionopolis hub of central Singapore’s one-north business park.
Fusionopolis operates as a research and development hub for the info-comm technology, media, physical sciences and engineering industries. The prime objective of building Solaris is to foster entrepreneurship, research and discoveries in these fields.
Solaris is the first office building that was completed in phase 2B of Fusionopolis in 2011. It was built at an estimated cost of £55m.
The building was shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects Lubetkin Prize 2012. It also received the BCA Green Mark platinum rating, the highest certification in green and sustainable building.
Solaris was also declared the winner at the FIABCI Excellence Awards 2016, BEI Asia Awards 2014 and ASEAN Energy Awards 2013.
The Solaris building is located at 25 Changi South Street 1, Singapore.
The site was previously a military base and the majority of the ecological system was destroyed.
The building was constructed in such a way as to ensure minimal damage to the remaining ecosystem.
The building sits on a 7,734m² (1.9 acre) site and comprises two tower blocks separated by a glass-roofed public plaza and connected with a passively ventilated central atrium.
The first tower block has 15 levels and the second tower nine, while both have landscaped rooftop gardens. The total floor area is 51,282m² (551,995ft²), the landscaped area is 8,363m² (90,018ft²) and the building is 80m high.
The public plaza has a slanted glass operable roof that allows natural ventilation and sunlight to percolate into the interiors. The open space of the plaza provides a good place for gatherings and hosting events, while the two towers are linked by sky bridges over the public plaza on the top floors.
The rooftop garden and the corner sky terraces provide open space to allow constant interaction with nature and a clear view of the surroundings. The spiral ramp expands into double-volume sky terraces at the building’s corners, with the landscaped area increasing the green footprint and controlling temperature.
The solar shaft is arranged diagonally and juts out of the first tower block, allowing sunlight to percolate into the interiors and reducing the need for artificial light.
The eco-cell is located at the north-east side of the building where the spiral ramp meets the ground. This sheltered area supports plants and allows cross-ventilation to the basement car parking zones. Situated on the lowest floor of the eco-cell are storage tanks and pumps for rainwater harvesting.
The pocket park, which functions like an open plaza, is connected to the open-north park next to the building and allows cross-ventilation to the open ground-floor plaza.
The main attraction of Solaris is the 1.5km-long spiral ramp that connects the ground floor of one-north park and the basement eco-cell with the tallest tip of the building.
Other unique features of the building are two tower blocks with roof gardens covering an area of 2,987m², corner sky terraces, a solar shaft, a naturally ventilated atrium, a ground-level public plaza and wide horizontal sun-shading.
The facade’s design is influenced by the tropical climate of Singapore and the sun’s movement from east to west, which is reflected in its depth and shape.
The 1.5km-long landscaped ramp that wraps around the building’s face like a ribbon gives Solaris its green title and unique look. The ramp begins at ground level and ends in the rooftop gardens at the building’s topmost level.
A parallel pathway follows the 3m-wide planted ramp, which acts like a social forum for occupants. It allows the maintenance staff to access the planted ramp from outside, while the extensions and presence of plants help in cooling the façade.
The building scores high on sustainability; it is equipped with rainwater harvesting, which is collected by the pipes running down the exterior landscaped ramps and roofs of the second tower by siphonic drainage. The water, stored in tanks situated on the roofs and below the eco-cell, is used to irrigate the planted areas, while the integrated fertigated system ensures the retention of organic nutrient levels.
The louvres have a total linear length of more than 10km and function as light shelves, reducing the heat transfer throughout the building’s double-glazed facade. The glass operable roof works via sensors, protects the tenants from extreme climate and acts as a smoke vent in emergencies.
The extensive spread of planted areas allows rich biodiversity, with the building replacing the green footprint of the original site by 113% by including planted areas inside the building. The interior lighting system works on sensors and switches off automatically when there is adequate daylight, reducing energy consumption by 36%.
TR Hamzah and Yeang was responsible for the design of the Solaris building.
Arup Singapore supervised the civil and structural engineering aspects of the building, while CPG Consultants provided the mechanical and electrical engineering services.
The facade and sustainability consultants are Aurecon, the landscape consultant is Tropical Environment and the quantity surveyor is PEB Consultants.
Elmich, an engineering solution company, and ULMA, a construction company, are among the other contractors involved in the project.