Paul Rudolph’s Colonnade Condominiums in Singapore is a stunning example of the architect’s innovative approach to building design. Originally intended as a set of prefabricated units hoisted onto a structural frame, the design of the Colonnade was developed from Rudolph’s earlier but unbuilt Graphic Arts Center of Manhattan. Rudolph had referred to these replicable units as the “twentieth-century brick,” an idea meant to make the construction of large-scale buildings more feasible. However, technical and financial reasons prevented the possibility of the prefabricated units.
The Colonnade Condominiums Technical Information
- Architects1-8: Paul Rudolph
- Location: 82 Grange Road, Singapore
- Client: Pontiac Land Private Ltd.
- Topics: Prefabricated Units
- Project Year: 1980 – 1986
- Photographs: © Trevor Patt
Architecture is a very dangerous job. If a writer makes a bad book, eh, people don’t read it. But if you make bad architecture, you impose ugliness on a place for a hundred years.– Paul Rudolph9
The Colonnade Condominiums Photographs
The Innovative Design of Paul Rudolph’s Colonnade Condominiums
Instead, the Colonnade was constructed using pour-in-place concrete, which still managed to convey the appearance of Rudolph’s initial design goals. The goal of designing prefabricated parts was to fuse flexibility of spaces with a standardized structural system and components. What became essential in the Colonnade Condominiums was the particular attention paid to the climate and environment of Singapore, where the abundance of sunlight was crucial in the layouts of spaces in the units.
The Colonnade’s massive structure’s floor plan is divided into four rectangular quadrants, each bound by substantial room for vertical and horizontal circulation. Movement under the tower is encouraged as the units are lifted off the ground on a series of columns lined in two closely-spaced rows, hence the name of the condominiums. These columns lift the bases of the four quadrants at different heights, and the shifting floor planes are a common theme within the works of Paul Rudolph.
Each unit in the Colonnade is two stories high, with an open living and dining area, a large kitchen, and a balcony. The first floor features a guest room and bathroom, and the second-floor houses two larger bedrooms. The precedent of this layout is Le Corbusier’s Pavilion de I’Espirit Nouveau, where the staggering of vertical heights and the lofting of bedrooms over the public areas create beautiful views and gathering spaces down below.
The Colonnade’s unique design also takes advantage of the tropical climate of Singapore, with its stunning landscapes and greenery. The views from the large windows are some of the most beautiful in the world, and the locations of bedrooms and more private spaces are shielded from the sun by the glazed windows. Overall, Paul Rudolph’s Colonnade Condominiums in Singapore is a testament to the architect’s ingenuity and creativity and his careful consideration of environmental factors in his designs.
The Colonnade Condominiums Plans
The Colonnade Condominiums Image Gallery
About Paul Rudolph
Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) was an American architect and educator known for his innovative and complex designs. He was a leading figure in the modernist architecture movement. Innovative construction techniques, bold form use, and experimentation with light and space characterize his work. Rudolph is best known for his work in the 1950s and 1960s, which includes designs for institutional and residential buildings, as well as his involvement in the Brutalist movement. Some of his most famous works include the Yale Art and Architecture Building, the Government Center in Boston, and the Riverview High School in Florida. In addition to his work as an architect, Rudolph was also a dedicated educator, serving as the chair of the architecture department at Yale University and the dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Associate Architect: Archiplan Team
- Landscape: Belt Collins & Associates International
- Structural: Ove Arup & Partners
- MEP: Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner (mechanical)
- Lighting: William Lam Associates, Inc.
- Graphic & Environmental Design: Communication Arts Inc.
- QS/PM: Langdon Every & Seah
- Contractor: Gammon (HK) Private Ltd.
- The Architecture of Paul Rudolph by