D’Leedon is one of the largest residential developments in Singapore. It is located in the centre of Singapore’s District 10, close to a wide range of commercial amenities, and comprises seven residential towers, twelve semi-detached villas and integrated landscaping with recreation facilities. The orientation and placement of the buildings was optimised in order to manage intense sunlight at certain times of the day, and to maximise views across Singapore.
In order to optimise public space, the towers taper inwards as they reach the ground. The high-rise buildings are subdivided into ‘petals’ according to the number of residential units per floor enabling a very large diversity of apartments. The architectural forms are very fluid in nature, resulting in long, sinuous lines that overflow into the landscape. The landscape itself is a combination of various hard and soft elements that create a rich tapestry of shapes, textures and forms that look dynamic, all features that heavily influenced the lighting scheme.
The type of architecture and landscape call for an integrated lighting solution that would blend seamlessly with the surfaces, shapes and routing throughout the complex with minimum obtrusion. The lighting scheme is unique in that it incorporates unconventional ways and means of providing the appropriate lighting for the large open spaces. There are no pole-mounted luminaires or bollards since the design brief stipulated clutter-free views, while ensuring the lit scenario would be safe and enjoyable for the 1000 residents in the apartment buildings.
The request – or rather clearly defined requirement – was "no visible light fittings". Light itself was "to become an architectural element". This is not a new idea. With the technological solutions available today, it is almost a given for the lighting designer. The challenge is how to realise it. In this case, the unique architectural linear forms have been strictly followed using embedded linear LED lighting in the ground and wall surfaces, reducing energy consumption to within 2.5 watts per square metre. This linear approach is closely aligned to the philosophy behind the architectural design. And what makes the realisation so perfect is that issues such as glare were taken very seriously.
Viewed from above, the complex appears to feature predominantly blue light. In fact, it was the effect of moonlight that was defined as the basis for the desired atmosphere. The idea was to be able to use the swimming pools under a moonlight atmosphere. Moving closer into the spaces at ground level, it can be seen that when it came to colour temperature, warm white was applied for the lighting in residential areas and smaller gardens, while cooler whites are used in the larger land- scaped areas that form the central axis of the site. This zone is a hive of activity and energy, which manifests itself in the form of numerous water features, pools (50 metres and 75 metres long), jacuzzis and a children’s play pool. Water is used in many forms across the site, from still and reflective to fountains and natural ponds. A number of unique features such as cascades and waterfalls are included to enable people to be aware of and navigate the changes in levels.
The architectural design helps keeps spill light from interior spaces to a minimum and some of the balconies on the towers and sections of the pedestrian routes have reflective material or pigments integrated into the overall aggregate so that the surfaces themselves ‘glows’ softly after dark without the use of additional light sources.
To fulfil the energy-saving requirements, long life and low-maintenance sources such as LEDs were preferred over halogens. In the landscaped areas, a combination of metal halide lamps and LEDs has been used, whereby energy savings can be further enhanced by means of effective lighting controls. The facade lighting was kept to a minimum – apart from the crowns – to avoid maintenance issues.
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects/RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers
Landscape architects: ICN Design International
Lighting design: Lighting Planners Associates