UOB Plaza


Skyscrapers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UOB Plaza is a development consisting of two art deco skyscrapers in the city of Singapore. The complex has two towers, namely UOB Plaza One and UOB Plaza Two. The former is one of the three tallest skyscrapers in the city of Singapore, sharing the title with the OUB Centre and Republic Plaza. The latter is relatively shorter and older than the former with the building constructed in 1973 and reconstructed in 1995 to have the same facade as the newer and taller building. Both the two buildings are connected by a 45 metre long podium supported by four columns. The podium houses the banking hall of the United Overseas Bank's main branch. The building was opened by then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1995 which is 60 years after United Overseas Bank's founding.

UOB Plaza One

UOB Plaza One is a 280-metre tall building with 67 floors, and was completed in 1992. It is the headquarters of the United Overseas Bank and major financial corporations such as UBS. On the 60th floor, there is a restaurant, Si Chuan Dou Hua.

The basement of the building houses a mosque known as Masjid Moulana Mohd Ali, which is run by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS). This mosque is the first in the Raffles Place district and is unique due to the mosque being located underground. This peculiarity has stirred controversy because to some Muslims, it is not good because it is located "in the bowels" of the earth.

UOB Plaza Two

UOB Plaza Two is a 162-metre tall building with 38 floors and was completed in 1973 with the building reconstructed again in 1995. The building was formerly the Bonham Building which housed the United Chinese Bank (now the United Overseas Bank) which changed its name to its current name in 1965 and the three storey building was demolished to construct the 30-story building.

Architecture

The towers have an octagonal base and consists of rotated cubic volumes, which is a distinctive stylistic expression of Kenzo Tange's works in the 1990s. The cubic volumes on the octagonal base, they rotate on a 45 degree plane of reference and diminish in volume towards the top of UOB Plaza One. A six storey podium links the two buildings together and skilfully accommodates the reconstructed UOB Building (now UOB Plaza 2). This place is a large airy atrium linking Raffles Place to Singapore River without entering the building. The banking hall has full height glass walls to see through the Singapore River from the financial district. The change in lighting brings out the geometric qualities of the building's architecture, highlighting the buildings with shafts of light and shadow. The external curtain wall system of the building represents a significant and innovative contribution of the evolution of building facades over time. The "performance wall" envelope of the towers is a composite of white and grey granite and insulated grey glass units. The atrium is also known as a "city room" and above it has a large office space and a large skylight, which gives the place natural lighting. A double storey sky lobby could be found on the 37th and 38th floors, which provide panoramic views of the city. It is also used for workers to transfer lifts from the lower floors to the higher floors. However, the sky lobby has been closed to the public due to security reasons after the September 11, 2001 attacks. There are two sculptures on the ground floor, one in the "city room" which is designed by Salvador Dalí and the other a bird, designed by Fernando Botero.

Information
Location Raffles Place, Downtown Core, Singapore
Status Occupied
Use Office
Height
Roof 280 m, 919 ft (Plaza One); 162 m, 531 ft (Plaza Two)
Technical details
Floor count 66 (Plaza One); 38 (Plaza Two) and three basements
Floor area 454,560 sq ft
Companies
Architect Kenzo Tange Associates and Architects 61 (Plaza One construction, Plaza Two, reconstruction)
Architects Team 3 (Plaza Two initial)
Contractor Nishimatsu Construction - Lum Chang JV
Developer United Overseas Bank
Owner United Overseas Bank
Management United Overseas Bank Property Management Pte Ltd