114th Zak World of Façades Conference: DPA, DPF and DPL on the Refurbishment of Lazada One


Partnering consultants discussed the vision guiding the refurbishment of the original 1986 Manulife Centre building into today’s Lazada One during a panel discussion at the 114th Zak World of Façades Conference.

Titled “Lazada HQ: Recladding an Existing Building”, the 9th March panel held at Marina Bay Sands brought together DP Architects (DPA) director Ar. Tan Chee Yong, DP Lighting (DPL) associate director Ms. Christine Chan and Head of Asset Management for ARA, an ESR company, Ms. Lorayne Lie. The moderator was DP Façade director Mr. Mathieu Meur. Lazada One is owned by a JV company jointly owned and managed by a Chelsfield-managed Fund and an ARA-managed Fund.

The panellists articulated substantiative insights from the architectural design and façade solutions to the lighting design. Elucidating the exceptional AEI strategies that were undertaken in refreshing the original building, Ms. Lie shared how this has bolstered demand and therefore, greater rental value of the development with a 98% occupancy rate and a 40% increase in rental rate. Lazada One’s success has been recognised with a Bronze Award for Best Refurbished Building at the MIPIM Asia Awards 2022, and a BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for meeting stringent ESG goals.

Ar. Tan expounded upon the vision and design intent of Lazada One, demonstrating the conscientiousness, meticulousness and thorough understanding of site context that underscores DP’s role as a consultant. Walking the panel through the various design considerations DPA proposed for the site, he explained how DPA’s architectural scheme refreshed and elevated the identity of the development through improved connectivity to its surrounding transport infrastructure and full revamp of its façade.

Ms. Chan shared how DPA worked with DPL to strengthen the visual dynamism of the façade, and about DPL’s lighting strategy in adhering to the strict standards set by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) given the project’s location within the art and civic district. She also described the bespoke extrusions of Lazada One and customisation of the LED strips according to each vertical fin, the lighting concealment solution by DP Lighting, as well as the numerous simulations and tests run by the team to obtain maximum visual impact while complying with standards set by URA.

The façade, which was also conceived in collaboration with DPF, was simultaneously engineered for sustainability. Mr Meur, the lead façade consultant on the project, elucidated how DPF navigated through the complications of framing new columns and fins, as well as matching the glass for the new façade with the glass of the original façade. This was achieved through repeated visual mock ups to ensure consistency and accuracy. He elaborated on how parametric structural analysis helped to optimise the size of steel needed to match the dimensions of the required frame, while parametric modelling was also used to ensure that minimal disturbance was imposed on the existing façade. In combination, the design strategies enabled the building to reclaim relevance and re-establish dialogue with its site and socio-economic context.

The panel discussion yielded productive insights and greater appreciation of the design thinking and materiality applied across Lazada One to make the project a transformative and comprehensive success, satisfying the concerns of its stakeholders.

The full panel discussion can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/yexC39WUd04?t=20769

To learn more about sustainable elements within Lazada One and how it reinvigorated its surroundings, visit its project page here: https://www.dpa.com.sg/projects/lazada-one/