“It was Rudolph’s intention from the beginning of the Beach Road II project to create a building in direct contrast with the International Style glass box.
He intended to reveal the organization and scale of the tower by making numerous references to the human scale against the exterior of the building. He also attempted to relate the building to its time and place by making abstract allusions to the Chinese pagoda, although, paradoxically, there are no pagodas in Singapore.
The tower is organized in clusters of four floors each, with individual atriums and terraces, which are repeated to simplify construction. The plan is essentially an X, the atriums occupying the space between the long legs of the X, the terraces the space between the short legs. The three-floor-high atriums and terraces are defined by the office spaces around them. Two separate elevator cores minimize corridors as well as the distance from elevator to office.
The idea behind the X-shaped plan was to bring as much natural light as possible, through atriums and terraces, to the core of the tower. The simple strategy was to minimize the amount of office space without natural light. Each office floor was to have individual offices that looked out to a terrace or balcony. The atriums, terraces, and balconies at all levels of the tower were to be planted with tropical vegetation.”
De Alba, Roberto. Paul Rudolph: The Late Work. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003. P. 138.