Pocketful of Sunshine
Green architecture is on the rise—besides beautifying the space, these green spaces offer respite to people who live and work in concrete jungles every day. Let us bring you a closer look at a few CapitaLand buildings and the ways that the green spaces in them can serve multiple purposes.
Long gone are the days when buildings, especially those in the Central Business District (CBD) area, were a monotonous shade of concrete grey. These days, one can find respite from the sun and the dreary work day in the green spaces that have been carefully cultivated in buildings around the city. Some of you may have seen some of these spaces, or even taken a break in one of them yourself.
More than just decoration, these green spaces bring a lot more to the table. Some double up as an area of rest when one is weary from the daily grind, whereas others help to lower the temperature in the building. Still curious about how these pockets of greenery can serve multiple purposes? Read on to find out more.
If you work at Raffles Place, you might have noticed the colourful, vibrant artworks of Ripple Root and Danielle Tay sprawled across the hoarding of a building under construction at Church Street. The spirited illustrations are a hint of what's to come—in 2022, CapitaSpring will be a place that blends work, live and play spaces in a vertically connected environment, with lush greenery that starts from the very first floor. This pulse of the city will be a green refuge in the heart of the concrete jungle; as you weave your way through the CBD, you'll realise that the line between buildings and nature blurs. Part of Market Street—where CapitaSpring is situated—will be transformed into a public park, an inviting space for a lunchtime picnic and catchup session. Keep an eye out for activities like weekly yoga sessions or live performances, all of which brings welcome break from the hubbub of a busy work day.
CapitaSpring will be one of the greenest buildings in Raffles Place, literally, as it interweaves the textures of steel and glass with tropical vegetation. Entering the building, you will be greeted by a verdant rainforest plaza, immediately transporting you away from the city. In need of a breather from your work? Check out the jungle gym, treetop cocoons, and sky hammocks at the breathtaking four-storey Green Oasis on the 17th floor, and immerse yourself in the cityscape.
Far from just being a workplace worthy of a post on Instagram, the sprawling greenery in CapitaSpring also provides cleaner air within the building and gives you the opportunity to step out and be among nature to refresh your creative mind—without even having to leave the building.
Additionally, CapitaSpring is equipped to accommodate and encourage greener forms of commuting such as walking and cycling. If you cycle to work, you’ll happy to know that CapitaSpring’s end-of-trip facilities for office workers make it easy to freshen up before starting your workday. You’d be getting some exercise into your day, while also helping to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere!
Another iconic building that you might have come across is as green as its name—CapitaGreen. Perhaps you might recognise it by the undulating Olafur Eliasson artwork that connects the pavement to the ceiling—with seats that look like chestnuts providing some solitude as you look up at the twisting sculpture. They remind us of the roots of a plant, and indeed, CapitaGreen was conceptualised as a living, breathing tree. Foliage includes greenery on each floor, a “living wall” in its foyer, and sky terraces on two separate levels.
Way up above—hidden from most eyes—a large, distinctive petal-like structure crowns the tower and acts as a wind scoop to draw in cooler and cleaner air from above the building. This air is channelled into an inner duct called the “Cool Void”, supplying fresh air to the building’s air-condition system. Together with the vegetation of CapitaGreen, this helps to lower the temperature in the building, helping to decrease energy consumption.
On the fringes of the Civic District, Funan Mall provides a breather for workers and shoppers alike. Head to the top of Funan Mall, where you will find an 18,000 sq ft rooftop urban farm operated by Edible Garden City—a long-time advocate of the local grow-your-own-food movement. You may be surprised to discover that more than 50 types of fruits and vegetables such as mushrooms, edible flowers, and watermelon can be found here, and if you're keen to hone your green fingers, you can learn how vegetables are produced and harvested through workshops organised by the mall. Apart from being an attraction for agriculture enthusiasts, the farm is a true breakaway from city life and a step forward towards strengthening food security in Singapore.
Bonus: Jewel Changi Airport
Not exactly part of the CBD, but a distinctive addition to our cityscape, Jewel Changi Airport is a well-known example where nature is integrated into an urban building. Jewel is home to the Shiseido Forest Valley, which has more than 900 trees and palms, and over 60,000 shrubs from all over the world. Stepping into this valley has been likened to trekking in Jurassic Park—it’s not often that you get to enjoy being enveloped by a tropical rainforest without the heat and humidity, but within a cool, misty environment instead. After an invigorating ‘hike’ amongst the trees, you might find yourself drawn to the HSBC Rain Vortex in the middle of the valley. Spend a few moments to take in a few deep breaths while you’re mesmerised by the cascading torrents of water, and we’re sure you’ll find calmness within. There are even more pockets of greenery on the fifth floor of Jewel, where you can admire and explore the flower gardens and ponds that fill the Canopy Park. More than just a ploy for publicity, the integration of greenery into the retail environment gives retail tenants a ready respite from their day-to-day operations, and also helps to give shoppers a sense of ease.
Although we might not always realise it, integrating pockets of greenery in buildings results in more than just a prettier landscape. Apart from being good for the environment, green buildings provide pockets of respite in a hectic city, can help to reduce energy costs, and boost employee morale and productivity. These eco-friendly, biophilic buildings are part of CapitaLand’s effort in ensuring a more sustainable city and workspace—in the hopes that there will still be plenty of Mother Nature left to enjoy for the generations to come, in pockets of green like these.
Find out more about how the greenery in CapitaLand’s buildings can serve multiple purposes by contributing to the environmental and social well-being of our communities here
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