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Singapore’s South Beach complex designed by Foster + Partners for City Developments Ltd., on April 27. 

Singapore’s South Beach complex designed by Foster + Partners for City Developments Ltd., on April 27. 

Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg
Green
Climate Adaptation

From Singapore to Rio Green Buildings Keep Tropical Tenants Cool

The climate presents unique challenges and opportunities to architects, from constant heat and humidity to intense downpours

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On a typically hot and humid afternoon in Singapore, a fresh breeze blows beneath the canopy of the South Beach development, keeping temperatures several degrees cooler than on the surrounding streets.

The rippling 280-meter (919 feet) wave of steel-and-aluminum runs the length of the Norman Foster-designed complex, funneling prevailing winds over outdoor patrons of restaurants and bars and saving on air conditioning for the mixed-use complex. The canopy is covered with solar panels and catches rainwater to irrigate the gardens.