Urban Design (UD) Plans and Guidelines for Orchard Planning Area - (A) Revision to Urban Verandah Guidelines (B) Revision to Façade Articulation Guidelines

  Published: 06 July 2009
Circular No : URA/PB/2009/14-CUDG
Fax : 6220 3201


Who Should Know:
Architects, engineers, building owners and developers

Effective Date:
With effect from 6 July 2009


To facilitate and encourage greater innovation in the design of building frontages.

Details of Guidelines


  1. Urban design guidelines for Urban Verandah and Façade Articulation were released on 4 Feb 2002 and 8 Mar 2005 respectively to encourage more interesting and varied building frontages to enhance the vibrancy and streetscape of Orchard Road.
  2. The current guidelines for Façade Articulations and Urban Verandahs have specific requirements such as percentage of frontage or façade area, etc. As part of URA's drive to encourage greater innovation in design and enhance the attractiveness and vibrancy of Orchard Road, URA has reviewed and revised the guidelines to be more performance-based to provide greater design flexibility.
  3. The revised Urban Verandah and Façade Articulation guidelines are combined to allow the design elements to be evaluated as part of the façade design in a holistic manner.
  4. The detailed guidelines given in Appendix 1 shall supercede the Urban Verandah and Façade Articulation Guidelines released on 4 Feb 2002 and 8 Mar 2005 respectively.


  1. In reviewing the guidelines, we identified the following 4 key attributes / desired outcomes which should be maintained or enhanced for Orchard Road:
    • The Lush, Tree-lined Boulevard - The boulevard of large, matured Angsana and Yellow Flame trees contributes to the unique tropical quality of Orchard Road;
    • Vibrant Streetscape with Street-orientated Developments: Buildings are encouraged not to be ‘inward-looking’ but to better engage the street with multi-storey attractive shopfronts, articulated facades with integrated lighting, Outdoor Refreshment Areas (ORAs), open/covered public spaces and Urban Verandahs, etc. Buildings are envisaged to feature multi-storey shopfronts with a high level of transparency and attractive lighting to add vibrancy and variety to the streetscape;
    • Effective Pedestrian Comfort & Connectivity – Effective shelter shall be maintained to allow ease of movement for pedestrians between developments via a network of covered walkways and underground pedestrian underpasses; and
    • Sense of Openness - The 11.6m building setback along the main stretch of Orchard Road contributes significantly to the openness of the pedestrian mall and allows a significant portion of the building facades to be visually appreciated by pedestrians on the mall. These building setbacks also allow activities on different levels of the buildings to be seen from the pedestrian mall.


  1. In the revised guidelines, design proposals consisting of Façade Articulations and/or Urban Verandahs as well as Outdoor Refreshment Areas (ORA) structures will be evaluated in a holistic manner based on a set of performance-based criteria as follows:
    • Response to site and the surrounding context;
      Proposals shall take into consideration and relate well to existing site conditions which would include trees and other landscaping features, street furniture and integration with existing bus shelters.
    • Effective weather protection and integration with adjacent developments for better pedestrian connectivity;
      The proposed Façade Articulation and/or Urban Verandah shall contribute to the adequate provision of shelter for pedestrians against inclement weather and enhance the overall pedestrian connectivity for the area.
    • Sense of openness & loftiness;
      The proposals shall take into account the quality of space beneath the Façade Articulation and/or Urban Verandah, such that the space is lofty and open at the street level.
    • Extent of interaction and engagement; and
      The proposals shall enhance the level of interaction and engagement between the activities within the building and/or Urban Verandahs, and the pedestrians and shoppers on the street (e.g. good visual porosity/transparency, innovative multimedia facades etc) so as to positively contribute to a vibrant and exciting streetscape.
    • Holistic integration of design elements
      The proposals shall integrate well with the existing building and where ORA and kiosks are proposed on the 1st storey, they shall be integrated with the structural elements of the Façade Articulations / Urban Verandahs as well as provide sufficient porosity to allow for ease of pedestrian movement.


  1. The following guidelines for Urban Verandah have been revised:


    • Previously, Urban Verandahs were only allowed on the 2nd storey of the development. Urban Verandahs can now be located beyond the 2nd storey of a development.


    • The length of the Urban Verandah can be allowed over the current 40% of the existing podium length of the development.
    • Where kiosks and ORAs are proposed beneath the Urban Verandahs or Façade Articulations, the design of the ORAs kiosks are to be well-integrated with the structure of the Urban Verandah and/or Façade Articulation.


  1. The guidelines for Façade Articulation have been revised as follows:


  • As a guide, the percentage of area coverage of the Façade Articulation over the façade area of the existing podium can be increased beyond 25% up to 50%;
  • The length of the Façade Articulation can be allowed beyond 60% of the length of the existing podium façade; and
  • At specific and appropriate points, the extent of projection of Façade Articulation can be allowed beyond the 4.0m, up to a maximum of 7.5m to allow for an interesting and cohesive architectural expression.
  1. The design proposals submitted shall be subject to evaluation by the Competent Authority based on the overall design merit of the proposal as well as the criteria set out in the detailed guidelines given in Appendices 1, 2 & 3.
  2. The Gross Floor Area (GFA) required for Urban Verandahs and Façade Articulations can be computed over and above the total permissible GFA for the development, subject to payment of development charge or differential premium, where applicable. Developments will be entitled to the GFA incentive only if Provisional Permission is obtained for the Urban Verandah and/or Façade Articulation proposals within 5 years from the date of issue of this circular. The detailed guidelines are given in Appendix 1.
  3. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this circular to the relevant members of your organisation. If you or your members have any queries concerning this circular, please do not hesitate to call our DCD Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 (email: URA_DCD@ura.gov.sg). We will be pleased to answer queries on this, and any other development control matter.
  4. For your information, the past circulars to the professional institutes are available from our website http://www.ura.gov.sg.
Thank You.


  Download PDF Version