Heatherwick Studio designs a tropical high-rise apartment with hanging garden in Singapore

EDEN, designed by London based Heatherwick Studio is inspired by Singapore’s vision of ‘city in a garden’, envisaged as a radical departure from steel and glass tower typology. The design pulls the landscape which usually exists in the horizontal plane onto the vertical dimension through a series of balconies with hanging planters and generous landscaping.

The 104.5 m tower rises up as a series of solid angular planes, broken up by windows and held together by generous planters on each level. The thick foliage in the balconies is visible from far and the towers radical design helps it stand out among its neighbours. The intention here was to craft homes within a garden that offers the benefit of apartment-living while also provides the feeling of being connected to the greenery found in abundance throughout Singapore.

Heatherwick Studio | Concept diagram.



“Like most global cities, Singapore’s skyline is filled with angular steel and glass towers. With Swire Properties, we wanted to create something distinctive that represents Singapore as a ‘city in a garden’ and recreate the verdant backyard access once ubiquitous across homes here,” Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio, told Design City.

The studio started by dissecting the solid block which is often the underlayer of conventional residential tower block. Their response to create a porous footplate, often found in Singapore, is to facilitate natural ventilation and reduce the reliance on mechanical ventilation. What sets their response apart is that all the services are moved to one side creating generous central living space, which acts as the heart of the house and opens up to greenery and views of the city.

Heatherwick Studio | Floor layout diagram.
Heatherwick Studio | Floor plan.
Heatherwick Studio | Section.

Once inside, the guests are treated with large living room with full height windows which floods the room with natural light and views of the city. The interior carries the language of living close to Nature with large balconies framing the view and use of natural material inside. The studio has crafted the interiors as a celebration of unique way of living in the city, with its combination of natural materials, textures and crafted details to enhance connection with the natural landscape.


The same language is adopted on the ground level, where thick foliage and landscape garden mark the entry into an oasis-like setting. The building is designed to mature and at ground level, the entrance is through a canyon-like corridor, 1.5 metres wide and opens up into a dramatic 18-metre-high lobby, overflowing with living plant chandeliers.


Heatherwick continues, “Instead of glass-clad edifices with token balconies, each home within ‘EDEN’ will have a lush garden right at the doorstep, with organic and generous living spaces achieved by breaking up the traditional boxy floorplate.”

This is the studio’s first residential project in Asia; previously they have completed a Learning Hub (now known as The Hive) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, which opened in February 2015.



Design: Heatherwick Studio
Design director:
Thomas Heatherwick
Group leader:
Mat Cash
Project leader:
Gabriel Sanchiz and Andrew McMullan
Project team:
Charlie Kentish, Craig Miller, John Minford
Swire Properties/Celestial Fortune
Heatherwick Studio
Local interiors:
Local architect:
RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers
Landscape designer:
COEN Design International
Main contractor:
Mechanical & electrical engineer:
Squire Mec
Civil & structural engineer:
RSP Structures



Heatherwick Studio is a team of over 200 problem solvers dedicated to making the physical world around us better for everyone. 

Based out of our combined workshop and design studio in Central London, we create buildings, spaces, master-plans, objects and infrastructure. Focusing on large scale projects in cities all over the world, we prioritise those with the greatest positive social impact. 

Working as practical inventors with no signature style, our motivation is to design soulful and interesting places which embrace and celebrate the complexities of the real world. The approach driving everything is to lead from human experience rather than any fixed design dogma. 

The studio’s completed projects include a number of internationally celebrated buildings, including the award-winning Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, Learning Hub at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. 

The studio is currently working on 30 live projects in ten countries. These include a new residential building for Related in Manhattan, a new park and performance space in New York due to complete in spring 2021, a terminal for Singapore’s Changi Airport (with KPF), as well as major new headquarters for Google in Silicon Valley and London (in collaboration with BIG).