April 25th, 2013 – We’ve been keeping a close eye on Singaore’s PARKROYAL on Pickering ever since WOHA Architects released their architectural renderings of a lush four-story hotel full of tall sky-gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and cascading vertical greenery, a few years back. The initial renderings of the hotel looked like a botanical wonder-world, leaving us curious to know if WOHA’s principals Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell could vividly translate their rendering art into reality.
The recent unveiling of the property is proof enough that creatives at WOHA, whom have have long been advocates of the ultimate ‘green city’, were able to execute the creation of the garden hotel, that actually doubled the green-growing potential of its site. At the PARKROYAL greenery flourishes throughout the entire complex, and the trees and gardens of the hotel appears to merge with those of the adjoining park as one continuous sweep of urban parkland. Massive curvaceous sky-gardens, draped with tropical plants and supporting swathes of frangipani and palm trees, are cantilevered at every fourth level between the blocks of guest rooms.
The hotel breaks new ground by introducing the state’s first solar-powered sky-gardens. Amongst its other energy conservation features are the use of automatic light, rain and motion sensors, rain harvesting and NEWater (recycled water). Nature-inspired materials and textures such as light and dark wood, pebbles, water, and glass are used throughout the design of the hotel. The 367 elegantly furnished guestrooms and suites offer spectacular views of the city and the hotel’s sky-gardens. A soothing color palette of calm greens and natural wood, accented with abundant light, provides a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere for the guests throughout their stay
Set outdoors amidst landscaping and waterfalls, the fifth floor is a dedicated wellness space which incorporates fitness and recreational facilities including an infinity pool overlooking the city, jacuzzi, fitness center, outdoor terrace and a 300-metre garden walk. Colorful birdcage-shaped cabanas are positioned around the pool area, providing comfortable chill-out spaces. The award-winning St. Gregory spa, which will be launched in March, offers signature therapies and a wide range of luxurious body and beauty treatments.
One of the PARKROYAL’s feature establishments is the Orchid Club Lounge, located at the top level of the hotel, commands 360-degree views of the city skyline. Equipped with private meeting spaces and dedicated Club Concierge service, guests staying on the handsomely furnished Club floors will also enjoy a host of privileges such as champagne breakfast, evening cocktails and canapés, all-day refreshments as well as priority check-in and check-out service.
For its innovative and sustainable design, PARKROYAL on Pickering has been awarded the BCA (Building and Construction Authority) Green Mark Platinum, the highest rating for green buildings in Singapore. It is also the recipient of the Solar Pioneer Award as one of the first in the country’s hospitality sector to use a solar energy system.
WOHA’s desire to restore a feeling of community to Asian cities is crucial to their architecture, and reciprocity is intrinsic to their vision of the city at large and to their projects in particular. The PARKROYAL on Pickering is a very public and very Singaporean hotel. The scale of the architecture responds to the intricacies of the city: the height of the ubiquitous tree canopies, the size and orientation of the adjoining tower blocks, and the proportions of the historic streetscapes.
The over-riding concept was that of a building-as-garden for an idealised green city. As WOHA say… “We wanted to recreate an urban street scale, so that people walking and driving could pick up interesting details. And we wanted to work with the building’s mass and appearance, so we could avoid the usual city scale of building-as-silhouette, and so we could implement a garden-themed aesthetic.”
Photography By Patrick Bingham-Hall