d+a | Issue 129 • 2023

80 design and architecture #129 people Lee Polisano shares his insights on the integration of sustainable features, urban biodiversity and advancements in digital technologies. Text by Amy Van Photography by PLP Architecture life-centric andresearch- drivendesign London-based PLP Architecture, which recently opened a studio in Singapore, designed the biophilic-inspired Park Nova along Orchard Boulevard and the upcoming Clifford Centre. The firm is behind some of the world’s most sustainable and intelligent developments such as Tokyo Cross Park Vision, one of Japan’s largest post- war urban renewal projects; and the Shanghai WLA Artificial Intelligent Lab – a new complex that forms part of a larger research and innovation district. PLP’s President, Lee Poilsano, tells us how the firm focuses on a life- centric approach to urban planning to create healthier, future-proofed and more sustainable cities. Tell us more about Park Nova’s biophilic-inspired design, which aims to promote wellbeing This is our first project in Singapore. We started the design about two years ago. It was an attempt for us to look at the way people were living, and to look at Singapore’s greenery. And to combine all those things into one narrative about luxury living in the sky. So the idea is that everybody is within a garden space and in a natural environment, as much as you can, where you can have natural ventilation, and you can connect to private outdoor spaces. The building has a strong narrative around lifestyle, health and wellbeing. And obviously a big emphasis on the biophilia; so we worked very hard at trying to get that correct. But at the same time trying to get the right kind of a building for that type of an occupier. Of course, architecturally, the site was quite challenging [the former Park House building]. It’s been very successful in terms of its launch and appeal to the marketplace. We’ve also been designing what will be the new Clifford Centre in the CBD. And again, that project has a very strong health and wellbeing focus for the office building of the future. We also look at how we can create an additional sort of placemaking quality around Raffles Place. Please share more about your innovative design strategies tominimise the impact of our built environment We’re driven by research in our work. We have a separate research group called PLP Labs, which looks at three aspects: the impact that built environment has on the planet; how work spaces and habitats have an impact on people; and technology. The work we’re doing has a very strong narrative around how we use less material to create greater efficiencies, and how we have less impact on the environment because constructing buildings uses about 40% of the world’s carbon, and it contributes quite a bit to climate change. We’re very focused on lower carbon solutions for our buildings. At the same time, this notion that I talked about