Winning Design for Char Yong Architectural Competition

Organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), commissioned by Char Yong (Dabu) Foundation Limited (CYF), this architectural design competition was launched on 28 December 2020.

This 2-stage competition invites design proposals for a new mixed use development comprising civic and community facilities for the association with a community and health services hub (The Project), located at 3 Lorong 18 Geylang Singapore 398788. The winner of the competition will be appointed as the Architect for the project.

Congratulations to all the finalists.

Winning Design: A Singaporean Hakka Village by PROSE Architects X WeCreate Studio

Jury Citation
This was a very refreshing scheme which captured the spirit of the association closely. The jury felt that the team has understood the brief and articulated it into an innovative solution. The multi-disciplinary team has done a lot of work to interprete the requirements while considering future user experiences to arrive at the concept of the Hakka village. The L-shaped and stepped massing has a lot of potential and is a brilliant response to the site. It also sets up the successful combination of the new and the old, the reinterpretation of a traditional façade with a modern backdrop. The jury felt that this integration links the past and the present, and will be relatable to both the older and younger members of the community.

The internal street as the focus of the village is a welcome feature. The jury sees the potential for this to become a lively space with many different activities. Above, one can have a different experience from every floor, partly due to the opportunity to overlook the activities on the lower levels.

Overall, this was a much-appreciated scheme, anchored by a compelling narrative followed through in the lively design.

2nd Prize: The Modern Tulou by Forum Architects Pte Ltd

Jury Citation:
The jury found this proposal to be a strong, well-considered and very competent scheme. The layout is logically planned to achieve high level of functionality with the segregation of noisy and quiet zones, and with the commercial and the institutional side clearly separated while sharing key services. The vehicular movement, arrival experience and integration with access to the basement parking are well-thought through, also fitting in nicely with the Tulou feature above.

The Tulou feature is appreciated as it gives a constant reminder of the Hakka heritage. However, there is a slight concern on how it breaks up the continuity of the space. The jury felt it unfortunate that aluminium had to be used to substitute more natural materials in order to overcome fire protection issues.

The façade design gives a welcoming outlook while the subtlety of the details would add to the experience of the built form. The jury felt that more transparency in the screen could have been considered. Overall, the proposal was professional, thorough and the team of consultants assembled was strong and inspired confidence. 

Joint 3rd Prize: A Modern Tulou Community in Geylang by ipli Architects

Jury Citation:
This scheme is elegant and refined in its composition. The jury admired the formal and sculptural quality of the building, and also appreciated that the design integrated the qualities of the Tulou architecture. The vertical and horizontal elements of the massing coming together formed an appropriate response to the built context. The lush landscaping on the roofs and cascading planters contrasted well against the heavy exterior and the contrast is manifested through the artfully positioned apertures.

Char Yong being a community institution, however, the jury would have preferred more openness in the façade to welcome people into the clan association building. Internally, the upper floor planning was found to be sensible and functional though the placement of vehicular ingress could be a potential issue. The jury was impressed with the submission overall and appreciated the architect’s strong and unique proposal.

Joint 3rd Prize: The Hakka Courtyard by Swan & Maclaren Architects Pte Ltd

Jury Citation:
This proposal stood out because of its uncompromisingly modern appearance and elegant profile. This was appealing as it could represent the aspirations of the community. Few Hakka elements were reflected in the overall design, however, although the jury acknowledged they could be compensated by integration into the smaller and more tactile elements to come.  The jury also anticipated that higher costs would likely be required to mitigate the extensive use of glass on the west-facing façade while reducing heat gain and achieving sustainability goals.
The strategy of carving out voids to create courtyards in the building mass was promising as spaces of welcome and flexible usage, though the jury noted that more technical resolution would be needed for the courtyards to work in terms of landscaping, ventilation and mitigation of rain exposure.

5th Prize: A Typological Intersection by SOLID Architects LLP

Jury Citation:
This proposal was interesting as it brought many bold components such as the typological experimentation and an innovative façade screen system. The split-level carpark and the raised internalized drop-off was a creative attempt at meeting the authority guidelines while optimizing costs. The openness of the central atrium was striking and promises to be a lively hub of activity. 
The façade design was innovative and meaningful as it incorporated a vernacular building element. As a porous screen, it also promised a solution to the western sun while allowing cross-ventilation. The jury hopes to see further development to enhance its buildability, safety and durability.