Grand Park Orchard is an addition and alteration project that introduces a retail base into the framework of an existing hotel. The new building is organised into seven storeys of hotel programming atop a three-storey retail base.
The design responds to the structure’s original modernist form — 11 storeys of tiered blocks leaning in the direction of the road featuring an external elevator cab to address the site’s street junction. While the elevators were relocated in plan, the new design retains the building’s external focus on mechanical movement by replacing them with an eight-storey, 28m-tall media LED screen. The building’s overall form has been simplified to a cube with shear faces, compositionally and materially rendering the screen as a clear focal point. The tapering blocks which house the hotel guestrooms has been overlaid with a sunshading screen, inserted at an angle to break the building’s flat edge and to reflect the original tiered form. Programmatically, the building’s hotel lobby has been relocated to the fourth floor, accessible by means of a street-level elevator landing. Meanwhile, a sidewalk escalator connects visitors directly to the third floor gym and bank facility.
A deep canopy system at the fourth storey extends over the sidewalk to fulfill a local covered walkway ordinance. As a result, the canopy produces a unified mall frontage, transforming Grand Park Orchard‘s retail promenade along Orchard Road into a grand shared space for sidewalk activities. Marble-clad pillars perform as robust frames to give each storefront a degree of autonomy.
A system of double glazing units envelopes the upper hotel levels, serving to protect the interior spaces from street noise and heat gain. A ceramic fritting is embossed on both glazing layers to reduce thermal transfer and pick up the light from the unit’s LED-embedded frame. The resultant patterning works day and night to superimpose the building’s face with a variation that counters the uniformity of the overall massing. As retail mall success is often heavily dependent upon urban legibility, this smaller-scale patterning overlaid upon a large-scale simple form has been designed as an easily-recognisable architectural branding mechanism for Grand Park Orchard.