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PUBLISHED on: 09 Jul, 2023

Meet the changemakers of tomorrow – the key designing team behind TMW Maxwell. In this feature, we have Alan Tay, lead architect and founding partner of Formwerkz Architects.

Read the second part of this series with Ng Sze Oun, our lead landscape architect.

Founded in 2004 by Alan Tay and his team of partners, Formwerkz Architects is largely defined and shaped by their motivation to espouse more active engagement between man and his environment.

Tay believes in the power of architecture in everyday lives, and seizes every opportunity to effect change through conscious design. Watch his feature below on how city living for a new generation of urbanites is given a new impetus with TMW Maxwell.

The following feature has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Hi Alan! Take us through some of the architectural ideas behind TMW Maxwell – a dynamic, non-conforming development that defies restrictive labels.
The departure starts from day one where we see this mixed-use development beyond a real estate product. It is about place-making, about the ideals of living in the heart of Maxwell, and about fostering a new community. 

It is a place that defies strict categorisation, where live, work and play intertwine seamlessly, and a space crafted for a new community of multi-hyphenates to thrive.

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How does the development's location in Tanjong Pagar play into its architecture?
Its strategic location gravitates between two urban realms – the historical Tanjong Pagar conserved shophouse clusters and the sleek high-rise towers in the CBD.

The architecture has to respond to the different scale and grain of these two very diverse urban conditions. It seeks to mitigate, intervene and thrive in this dichotomy and richness.

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There are key differences in the architectural approach of a mixed-use development as compared to a property that's solely residential. Take us through some of TMW Maxwell's communal spaces.
We envisioned the design of the commercial floors, which constitutes the basement to the 3rd storey, to be porous and relatable to the streets and its immediate context, and that its presence would enrich and activate the urban realm.

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For example, the sunken piazza in the forecourt creates a space of respite from the bustle of Maxwell Road, and [it seeks to] lead the street activity to the basement.

The lush landscape of the elevated pedestrian street expands and extends the mall to offer more street frontage and choices, and ultimately – a more comfortable environment to enjoy the city.

A highlight of TMW’s facade is its vertically stacked gardens facing Maxwell Rd, or as the development calls it, Park On Park. Tell us about the motivations behind the myriad of spaces.
The idea of turning a gable end wall to a vertical park in a building was our attempt to push the boundaries of communal sky terraces, which are commonly adopted features. This series of inter-linked pocket gardens in the sky offer a myriad of different amenities, experiences and lifestyle choices.

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These outdoor living rooms are the stages for where urban living unfolds – it is the new Third Space, where there is a space for everyone for any occasion, mood, day and time.

All in all, what kind of a lifestyle do you envision for a TMW homeowner?
I see a new community of like-minded urbanites, both global and local at the same time. They're plugged in at all times, yet also constantly engage with the city [around them]

They will enjoy the convenience with Maxwell MRT at their doorstep. The vibrancy, the old and the new, the street art and great food scenes, the speakeasies, the fast and the slow.

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TMW Maxwell is a collection of multi-hyphenate spaces creating a new iteration of city living. View the possibilities of spaces made for one and for all at our gallery. Preview opens 29 July.