As a Selector, creative director, TV presenter and fashion writer, Uffe Buchard, invites us in and shares what’s on his mind right now.
This time, a visit on the hotel, Park Royal on Pickering, gives food for thought.
I have just left the metropolis of Singapore after a brief stay of only three days.
I’ve been there before and had no expectations that I’d be leaving brimful with inspiration in nuances of green. Because, with all due respect, Singapore is mostly about the ice-cold banking business, shameless shopping in the luxury category, and … oh yeah, poledancing. Not all that different from most other East Asian mega-cities. It’s impressive, of course, that in this muggy town, situated dangerously close to the equator, you can march from shopping mall to shopping mall underground in decidedly chilly retail environments. Coldness is a status symbol here, and the only thing challenging the sun for who’s hotter, is the credit cards.
I was aware that Singapore is also famous for its gardens – Singapore Botanical Gardens is, after all, world-famous, and the newly established Gardens by The Bay with its man-made Super Trees reaching up like skyscrapers is already iconic.
On the other hand, it was quite surprising that the city is also making headways in its integration of tropical gardens with the explosive vertical structures, which increasingly loom over the original Chinese buildings downtown.
My hotel – the newly opened Park Royal on Pickering – slipped in between Chinatown and Central Business District, is one of the city’s finest examples of green and sustainable sky-soaring buildings with its own built-in eco system. Wow!
A building that fills a whole block, but which doesn’t give off the usual monumental and static aura we’re familiar with in new glass-and-steel office buildings.
Those materials were softened up by a whole rain forest distributed on the exteriors of the floors (7,000 square meters to be precise), making the hotel stand as a shining green example of a modern city house, practically breathing life itself. Actually, the space contains 200% more green area than if the same property had been a park – quite innovative and impressive, non?
A breathing green manifesto of the local – and for good reasons internationally renowned – architecture firm, WOHA. I was totally sold on this idea of a green future city. And staying at the hotel was an exceptional experience. One in which you could take in a mix of palm leaves, butterflies, and insects right outside your window on the 14th floor. Well, this was after all the tropics, climate being a decisive factor for the ecological success.
What remains to be explored is how the idea can be implemented in, say, a Northern European climate. High-rises with pines, birk stems, and spruces right outside the windows…? Perhaps one day even squirrels and a moose… Well, count me in!
Facts about Uffe Buchard:
He is Creative Director of Darling Creative Studio and Editor in Chief of DANSK Magazine. He has a monthly column in Danish fashion magazine ELLE and a segment on Denmark’s breakfast TV-show twice a month.
Uffe Buchard is a permanent Selector on feel.selected.com and brings you new updates from his whereabouts two times a month.
Follow him on Instagram here.