In Singapore, FUUR Associates creates a rooftop bar as a lush, forest-inspired insertion into a steely urban fabric. Yvonne Xu writes.
Photography by Marc Tan
Located on the upper terrace of the third-level Suntec City Sky Garden in Singapore, Terra does not offer the panoramic city skyline for a sunset scene; from this vantage, the day ends with a view of a bright burning globe hanging in a sliver-slit of sky between high-rise towers. A sunset through the density of buildings instead of over open horizons is unexpected, but such alternatives are exactly what Terra provides in its highly urban context – it is a place conceptualised to offer surprise encounters with land and nature.
Suntec City’s Sky Garden is a landscaped dining and bar enclave offered as part of the Aedas redesigned Suntec City. Restaurants are housed under louvred, trellis-like frames. In the day, these overhead louvres cast straight striped shadows, reminding one this is no leaf-dappled sunlight; it is an urban jungle we’re traipsing in. To such a context, Terra responds as an alternative breathing space that is lush, relaxed and Mediterranean in ambience.
“The idea is to insert this alternative into an urban space that is quite hard and steely,” says Dean Chew, Director of FUUR Associates. “In a perfect world, this space would feel like a dirtier garden, with the lushness of a tropical rainforest, a thick jungle, a really green courtyard,” he adds.
In its urban surrounds, Terra stands out like a wooden shack. The palette is Mediterranean with colours like seafoam blue, fern green, a jungly mustard yellow – all reminiscent of nature; while textures like pebble wash, terrazzo, timber, concrete and metal mix for a vague indoor-outdoor feel. Components have been designed with corners, nooks, and ledges for plants to ideally overflow from.
Terra is owned by Limited Edition Concepts (which also owns clubs such as Kyo and Refuge) and is conceptualised as a co-hosting, events-driven space. The space is therefore designed to maximise flexibility for programming, circulation and flow – essentially as a single volume with a series of different spaces serviced by a central bar island. Seating is modular, and loose furniture moveable to adapt to event needs. A group may be celebrating a birthday at the raised private zone at the back, while a larger event can take place in the front areas.
The mood is breezy. The space is vented and flows out all the way to the Sky Garden’s landscaping. Even from standing outdoor areas sightlines are open across the central bar island to the DJ deck.