"Reflections at Keppel Bay" in Singapore

"Reflection" means the return of light or sound waves, but it also represents the result of careful thought. With his design for a new residential development in southern Singapore, Daniel Libeskind does justice to both meanings. Concrete from Holcim is helping to give shape to the reflections of this world-famous architect.

At Singapore's southern waterfront, in the immediate vicinity of the island resort Sentosa and only five minutes by car from the city state's business district, a unique residential development for the most demanding tastes is in the making: Reflections at Keppel Bay - Daniel Libeskind's first residential project in Asia. The architectural theorist, town planner and architect is renowned for his narrative idiom and his aspiration to embed every project harmoniously in its aesthetic, political, historical and philosophical context.

 


1,129 apartments with a view of the sea

At Keppel Bay, Daniel Libeskind, commissioned by the Keppel Corporation, has designed a symphony of six undulating towers and villa apartment blocks with a total of 1,129 apartments. The entire precinct stretches along 1.2 kilometers of shoreline, and most apartments enjoy a breath-taking view of the sea. The real inspiration for the exceptional design, says Libeskind, was the unique location of the site. The New York-based architect explains: "The idea of reflection was there from the start. This idea went through various phases, but I always came back to it. I was thinking of the reflection of the sky, the water, and of the site in the bigger picture of Singapore and of Asia. And reflection also in the philosophical sense, that is, a reflective thought, of an idea."

 


A living experience

The six curved residential towers, which are between 24 and 41 storeys high, form a fascinating ensemble of light and reflecting surfaces. The highly sophisticated structures are linked by nine sky bridges at different levels. The open spaces on the bridges provide a panoramic view of the impressive surroundings. Lush gardens adorn the sloping roofs of the towers.

Reflections at Keppel Bay is a structure on an urban scale, a social frame-work, a city district with its own infrastructure - and a part of the overall concept that will alter the entire Keppel Bay area. In the next few years, Keppel Bay is slated to become a self-contained metropolis.

 Supply at any time

A total of 320,000 cubic meters of concrete is needed for the construction of the towers and apartment blocks in the Reflections at Keppel Bay project. "We've worked with Keppel Corporation on several successful projects", says Jitendra Pragji Desai, Head of Product Development & Technical Services at Holcim Singapore. The decisive factor in gaining the contract, he went on, was the fact that "Holcim can be relied on to supply at any time."

The concrete is mixed at the Marina plant, which is only 15 minutes' drive from the building site, and made available from two new metering and mixing plants with a total production capacity of 240 cubic meters an hour. The plant also runs on weekends and holidays whenever required. The Holcim truck fleet transports some 300 to 500 cubic meters of concrete to the building site every day. "The developer, the investor and the architect expect top-notch quality, reliable service and 24-hour delivery capability," says Jitendra Pragji Desai. "We can guarantee all of that."

 


Special concrete to meet requirements

Holcim is providing eight different types of concrete to Reflections at Keppel Bay, including a special concrete for the piles that remains moist and elastic for several hours. This allows for an easier removal of the sheathing for the piles.

21st century urbanity

Reflections at Keppel Bay project holds out many challenges for those involved. The biggest, though, is the ambitious time frame. Jitendra Pragji Desai says: "We always have to deliver exactly the right quantity at the right time." To date, Holcim has made all deliveries within the specified time limits; including the delivery of the special concrete for the buildings' foundation piles which has just recently been successfully completed. In approximately three years from now, residents will be moving into their new homes within this massive development. At that point, the term" reflections" will stand not only for a mirror image or the process of deep thought but also for a lively and modern 21st century urbanity.