SIA RCS-DC Seminar: Designing New Urban Commute

The ability of man to traverse all topographies allowed mankind to occupy the world. The frontiers of civilisation are ever pushed back in each age as technology advances. Each invention; the wheel, animal power, harnessing wind, the steam engine, the electric motor, flight, saw a change in urban and rural patterns. New economies that are impossible before became indispensable. These become embedded in the narrative of Man.

Design at all levels responds to this imperative. In Architecture we see the emergence of built form known as TOD (transport oriented development). Along with the “tentacles” of connection in the form of roads, green connectors and pathways woven through cities, and integrating both the commercial, social and leisure areas they further influence the way we respond as Architect in the context of this increasingly crowded planet.

Given this, what is the impact and implication to our cities and future? How do we design taking into consideration the inevitable need to commute? As the world shrinks, is commuting even relevant today?

On 8 December 2017, the SIA, RCS’s DC Sub Committee has put together a seminar “Designing New Urban Commute” as a continuation of “work, live learn & play” series of talks to address these issues.

SIA is proud to have 2 established architectural practices to share how their projects articulate the new urban commute in design in our highly connected island state.

1st Topic by Mr Siew Man Kok
Dense and Green Building Typologies: Architecture as Urban Ecosystem

In their winning Rail Corridor Proposal for the Housing Parcel at Chao Chu Kang for high density affordable housing, MKPL was commended how the proposal could enhance the ecology and green experience of the Rail Corridor, while demonstrating the possibility of co-existence of development with greenery – both the physical landscape and one’s experience of it. The Rail Corridor is widened and transformed into a 50m wide Linear Forest and ecological corridor through extensive new landscape and plantings. In this respect, the Linear Forest integrates the green identity of the Rail Corridor seamlessly with an extensive public realm and delightful living environment, while acting as a main circulation spine and orientating device for both residents and visitors.

The scheme provides innovative solutions as a response to the complexities of the site. By advocating a multi land use approach, the proposal demonstrates how living and recreational space can be blended seamlessly with infrastructure requirements. As such, a portion of the housing community above the re-developed Pang Sua Canal, and some precinct greens double up as floodplains for the naturalised Canal. The proposed decking of part of the canal allows the new housing precinct to integrate almost seamlessly with the surrounding communities and with the adjacent Chua Chu Kang (CCK) estate.

In developing the housing typology proposed for CCK further, MKPL will also share their current investigation into super high rise residential typology. Their investigation takes on challenges of scale, sense of community and a sense of well-being when living in ever denser environment.

2nd Topic by Mr Toh Kok Kin
A peek into the future for the World’s Best Airport

With the advent of technology, air travel has become increasingly commonplace. Over the last 3 decades, Singapore’s airport terminals have grown into buildings that support the functions of airport operations and serve as shopping and dining haven for both travelers and locals. Unlike airports in most countries, Changi Airport – the World’s Best Airport, is more of a destination than a transient space, setting the benchmark for airports around the world.