Casting Architecture

Building in the tropics has always been a huge challenge. With the rapidly increasing population in tropical Megacities, building in the tropics will become an even bigger challenge. Besides the increasing request in sustainablility, function and affordability, building elements need to resist the constant battering of harsh tropical heat, torrential monsoon rains and low equipped building technologies. The measures used to attain thermal comfort in tropical Southeast Asia may be witnessed in many built structures and environments over a long durée. An almost forgotten Art of Building, the Ventilation Block has a long history as a traditional element in tropical regions. It provides climatic comfort, protection and decorative facade pattern. This project rediscovers the beauty of Ventilation Screens in a continuous application of modules, designed and crafted by Studio Florian Schätz with students from the Department of Architecture at National University of Singapore.


Ventilation Blocks are small building elements which contribute expansively to the liveability in tropical architecture. Historically they defined the envelop of Tropical Modernism. As mass-produced pre-fab units, they take over construction loads, permit cross ventilation and protect the building’s interior from intense tropical rainfall. In addition, their functional pattern and form contributed not just nationally, but much more to a regional identity.

Stacked Concrete

Casting Architecture rediscovers the spirit of traditional forms of buildings and shows the Ventilation Block as a unique tropical building element. They form not only walls, but also create, wonderfully fluent forms. Casting Architecture handles in an unique process the creation of architecture in structural concrete elements. Ventilation blocks, as modular-building systems, using carefully executed designs, create richly ornamented sculptural facades.


Project: Research and Innovation

Team: Florian Schätz, Corrado Signorotti, Ben Chan, Kean Kok, Dr Lai Chee Kien

Institution: National University of Singapore, Department of Architecture

Module: Constructing Architecture | AR2326

Support: Holcim Pte Ltd, Pan United Pte Lid, WAK Construction

Location: Singapore