Transcript of a Presentation by the ARC Studio Architecture & Urbanism, URA Centre, 7 May 2002

Flying Green

This is our strategy for bringing the green onto the blocks. Basically we leave two levels. This is after careful consideration of the effects of the other possibilities. We decided to punch all our programmes together and cluster them into twin blocks. But what we also did was to compress the distance between the ground and the twenty-sixth floor at the top with these high-speed lifts. So essentially you could take a lift from the level one. And if you are jogging you can jog to the lift, jog up to level twenty-six, and then go into the lift and continue jogging.

So this is a plan of level twenty-six. Here we actually clustered all the active programmes. There are two four-hundred metre tracks. And then, in between these spaces here, we have created a gym and a hall. And the bigger areas here will be reserved for halls and gathering spaces and this rooftop here will also be for more activity-orientated spaces.

Views are such a premium, why not have lots of them? And make them accessible to the residents. Even though you are staying on the first storey you could actually climb to the twenty-sixth and the roof and enjoy the fantastic facilities there.

And the setting. In the city of Singapore you are surrounded by the sea, but you can’t see the sea. In this case, we can actually view all the way to the horizon. So the roof is actually our reaction to a more contemplative, quieter kind of programme. We need narrower pathways for strolls. Also for safety reasons we have set back the pathways and allowed a moat. There’s a double barrier. And also along here, we have talked about windbreakers and gondola tracks.

So I think the wind up here will become very, very strong so I think in our development of the rooftop, one of the special landscape features could actually be wind-driven type devices. So these are lookout points and meeting areas, water tanks. We have created two hilltops for the “I’m on top of the mountain” kind of feel. Basically, the hilltop raises the level of your sightline above the handrails so that you don’t feel… You know, you go up to the Empire State building and you are looking at the skyline from behind. So here we thought, “How can you get away from that?” So basically the centre is high but the sides are low.

This is how we saw life in Duxton Plain. Essentially 1800 units but each unit is extendable into the green. If your living room is too small to throw a twenty-person party, you can actually come down here in a quiet pocket and have a little time. If you feel like studying in the outdoors or surfing the Internet, you can bring your laptop to the hotspots. Essentially, your public life is mediated by the ground and the green. And sub-community spaces start to arrive. And you can actually put in the identity of the management and the residents can be imposed onto a very open kind of architecture.

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Last modified: 30 October 2002