Friday, February 02, 2007

Two inter-locking hi-rise apartments, and one master.

Pearl's Bank apartments (ArchUrban Architects,1976) and Lincoln Modern (Chan Soo Khian, 2004). I thought it would be interesting to place these two apartments side-by-side, even though both are separated by almost thirty years.

Both apartments have inter-locking configurations, though Pearl's Bank uses a horizontal-T configuration, whereas Lincoln Modern uses an L-shaped configuration. Coincidentally, in terms of client/patronage, both projects were catered to "upmarket" residents selling proximity to the city, spectacular views, and "commodified design".

Even more importantly, both pay homage to that one and only master (of the "five points" fame) who designed that canonical apartment block.

Pearl's Bank exterior facade.
Note the different fenestration/facade treatment for the floor in the middle. This leads me to suspect that the mid-level point is programmed with public amenities. (Just like in the second-last image)

Section perspective of an apartment unit at Pearl's Bank.
(Note the different fenestration treatment between the bedroom and living rooms.
explains the pattern of the exterior facade.)

The Lincoln Modern.
The way the L-shaped apartment units are interlocked can probably be read from the facade. (Too bad sections are nowhere to be found.)

But, there was only one true master who conjured the original vision.

Unite d'Habitation, Marseilles. (Le Corbusier, 1952) In all its penta-pointal glory.
(Also, note the difference in fenestration in the middle of the block, where
there are shops, offices, a hotel, and an internal circulation "street". )

And that is Ronald, bathed in the Marseille sun, standing atop the "fifth point"
of this building. (i.e. the roof terrace)

I count myself so fortunate to have spent a night in this masterpiece.