Sited along a six-lane thoroughfare with direct connection to a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, the Novena Square Shopping Mall originally opened in 2002 was poised as a natural point of convergence for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The mall’s static architectural and functional form, however, necessitated a dynamic new arrangement to authenticate this site as a regional node of urban activity. With a sports-centric mall addition, new internal atria, and the reconfiguration of an outdoor landscaped plaza, Velocity@Novena Square integrates office towers with a retail podium as a unified ‘active lifestyle’ health and fitness complex.
A new, multilayered envelope plays aesthetic and functional roles in this unification both internally and externally. As visible from the street, a bold green, metal-clad architectural wrapping has been designed to reflect the dynamic energy of the health and fitness-focused addition. This undulating form generates unity among site elements, namely the mall, adjacent towers, and MRT station. It couples with an extensive outdoor canopy to merge the building with the plaza and landscape.
From below the wrapping protrudes a glazing block. This block performs dually as a skylight ceiling and as shop window frontage to achieve unity within the mall. The skylight serves to naturally illuminate the extended podium, to define two internal atria, and to highlight the main circulation spine which links with the office lobbies and main pedestrian nodes. The atria together with the outdoor plaza provide the site with a series of ‘active lifestyle’ spaces at the civic scale.
As a rule of thumb for commercial structures, the value of office space increases with floor level. The forms of the project’s two towers are suited to maximise this real estate development value, tapered outward to increase the rentable floor space with each additional storey. These additional structures increase the site’s ground floor area from 15,200sqm to 21,855sqm.