Marina One in Singapore is a special building complex: four skyscrapers form the framework of a central three-dimensional garden - for a better interaction of working, housing and living. In particular, glass, steel and certified green concrete were used for the construction. Ensuring the longevity of the concrete in humid tropical climates is a challenge for major projects of this kind.
- ingenhoven architects gmbh
- M+S Pte. Ltd., Singapur, eine Gesellschaft der Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia und Temasek Holdings, Singapur
- Foto: HGEsch
- Singapore, South Africa
A location with special conditions
The tropical city state of Singapore is situated on the southern tip of the Malay peninsula between Malaysia and Indonesia. With a total area of about 720 square kilometres, the island republic is about the size of Hamburg and the smallest state in Southeast Asia in terms of area. However, with about 5.6 million inhabitants, three times as many people live here as in Germany’s biggest commercial port. As a result, living space is scarce and expensive. For this reason, land reclamation plays a crucial role in Singapore, and skyscrapers complete the architectural mix that also includes mosques and historic buildings.
The shared central feature - the "Green Heart" - is the core concept of Marina One, which was realized by ingenhoven architects in close cooperation with the landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman. The three-dimensional green oasis stretches over several floors, it includes 350 different tree, plant and animal species over an area of 37,000 square meters and contributes to improving the microclimate and increasing biodiversity. The architects also integrated a waterfall and sky gardens on different levels.
"Often the concrete dries out differently, which means that it becomes stained, sometimes lighter, sometimes darker. With a mineral product such as concrete, this is just what happens," explains Antje Bensch, Export Manager at KEIMFARBEN.
KEIM Concretal-Lasur (also called mineral stain), which is a sol-silicate based, thin layer coating for concrete emphasizes the natural character of the concrete and at the same time provides additional weathering protection, was used to protect the concrete parts of Marina One, on the large columns and walls inside the building as well as on all visible concrete surfaces in the inner courtyard.
"We are unique worldwide with this product and achieve with the right mixing ratio that the concrete looks much more uniform, but still natural, a little cloudy so that the concrete does not look painted," explains Antje Bensch and continues:
"Architects want to preserve the aesthetics, the look of the concrete as much as possible, because anyone could just paint over it. The craftsmen diluted the Concretal-Lasur with Concretal-Fixativ dilution at a ratio of one to eight.
"The result looks transparent, but more uniform. The nice thing is that you can play with the product, it provides many design options - from highly translucent to covering. The glaze serves as a colour shade and the KEIM Concretal-Fixativ as a thinner," Mrs. Bensch explains, drawing attention to the fact that due to the high humidity in Singapore, processors have also applied KEIM Silan 100, a hydrophobic coating under the grey-black mixture of Concretal-Lasur and dilution.
This kind of big project is usually a time-consuming process. After the idea for this building was first dicussed in 2013, the tender took place at the end of 2013," Bensch recalls, adding that the products were applied between the end of 2015 and January 2018. A good two years were spent only painting sections. The craftsmen applied a total of 2,000 litres of Silan 100 as a hydrophobing agent and 12,000 litres of Concretal-Lasur with small rollers and in some cases even worked with a natural sponge. This was done floor by floor and on small scaffolds.
"This was a big challenge, because the coating took place during the construction phase and we often had to interrupt the work until the next section was finished. Some of the minor damages that had occurred during construction had to be repaired. A reliable local partner who looked after everything helped us a lot. This is a major factor in being able to complete such a large project successfully," Mrs. Bensch sums up the situation.
“In Singapore backfilling will continue, the harbour will also be relocated once again to provide more land. One can assume that in ten, twenty, maybe even 25 years our project will have been pushed into the middle of the then new, expanded Central Business District or that it will then be located there," says the Düsseldorf architect Marina One, Christoph Ingenhoven on Deutschlandfunk radio. - Only then, in about twenty years' time, may it be necessary to repeat the coating of the concrete, because the KEIMFARBEN paint systems are very durable and maintenance is not necessary.