Duxton Plain Public Housing
Ruggero Lenci (capogruppo/team leader)
Nilda Valentin, Stefano Catalano
The present design
proposal intends to create a unique high rise housing complex which fully
relates to the adjacent Duxton Plain Park through the development of a
series of attractive landscaped areas around the buildings: in particular,
a central large open green area between the two main high rise volumes.
This central space, well visible from the main access of the complex, allows
the perception of the housing development being in a garden setting as
well as it helps to create a pleasant external recreational and communal
setting for the residents.
The proposed project consists of two fifty-storey high rise radial buildings and one nine-storey low linear building, which together form a distinctive skyline in the city while allowing visual porosity across the site. The proposed radial shaped towers are characterized by three separated curving surfaces at which extremities have been placed insulated glazed elevations. The curving surfaces are conceived as a series of continuos precast concrete 'ribs'-elements behind which are located windows or balconies. The elevations have been designed in such a way that if residents will close the balconies with glass-windows, the design of the buildings does not suffer. All west-facing fenestration have been protected with appropriate sun-shading devices to reduce solar heat-gain through the day. The insulated glazed elevations at the ends of the wings can be opened to allow natural ventilation along the corridors, inside the apartments and in the stairs.
Each high rise building contains 462 units (368 duplex, 92 simplex and 2 efficiency) of which 299 are type S1 units, 161 are type S2, and 2 are type S. The duplex apartments are organized as a couple of interlocking units with a single-exposed living area at the entrance lower level and a double-exposed sleeping area at the upper level. Since the duplex units are located along the wings, the access corridor takes place every two storeys. The simplex units are, instead, situated close to the central core. All dwelling units have two naturally illuminated and ventilated bathrooms: one with a shower, the other one with a tub. Service balconies are located next to the kitchen areas to facilitate laundry activities, and are provided with an internal hanging system for drying clothes as well as a space for the air conditioning units. The floor-to-floor height of the units is 2.90m. with a floor-to-ceiling clearance of 2.60m.
The internal corridors are 1.80 meters wide and are located between two concrete bearing walls that constitute the structural central system of the wings. The household-shelters are stacked on top of the two concrete walls in order to guarantee a structurally strong shelter (even stronger than if stacked on a pile alone). The corridors are well illuminated and ventilated and contain the access to the dwelling units, to the individual vertical chases of the units and to the fire staircases.
The central core contains eight elevators, which serve the 462 dwelling units of the tower, a centralized refuse chute system and, a nearby fire staircase. It is naturally illuminated and ventilated by large ten-storey openings which alternate on the three different expositions. These large openings help to create high level sky-gardens characterized by different shaped panoramic green terraces situated in it, a vision which reinforces Singapore’s Garden City image.
The first two storeys of the high rises have been developed with a number of attractive spaces for residents to meet and recreate. The first floor, often with more than one storey in height, has a drop-off area with a lobby where are to be located the two existing plaques installed by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew on the two Public Housing blocks to be demolished. There are, in addition, a security point, a mail box room, an office for the management, a series of social and communal facilities (such as the children-care center and the resident committee center), and a large void-deck space facing the central green area. The second-storey (mezzanine) contains two efficiency apartments (for guests or security) and some social and communal spaces overlooking the first storey spaces and the void-deck. Most of the commercial facilities are situated in areas facing the street. The children-care center faces, instead, the park, while service areas and utility rooms are located away from the main entrance.
The third building is a 60 m. long, and a nine-storey-high linear structure, composed of the same typologies of the towers. It contains 44 dwellings of which 24 are type S1, 12 type S2, and 4 type S units (efficiency).
The two main vehicular access points to the residential development take place along Cantonment Road. An additional ingress point, which serves only as a service access, takes place from Neil Road at the furthest point from the main junction. Parallel to Cantonment Road has been created a linear open area which, through its form, landscaping and finishes, aims to capture the historical memory of the first two blocks of Public Housings and to enhance the new development, as well as the access to the existing Tanjong Pagar Community Club. Along the linear open area have been created 118 uncovered parking lots, several drop-off areas and the main entrances to the buildings. This allows the side along Duxton Park to be left as it is and, therefore, to contribute to draw the greenary towards the open areas of the development. A nicely paved bicycle alley has been created through the green areas to allow also for fire-trucks to reach, in case of emergency, all the sides of the buildings. Most of the existing mature trees, as well as the two centrally located young trees, have been maintained and integrated into the landscaped areas of the development, contributing to determine its overall green character.
Under the uncovered parking areas, a two-storey parking deck structure has been developed, accessible from three ingress-egress ramps. It contains 340 cars on each level, for a total of 680 cars, 90 motorcycles spaces and a car-washing bay. All three residential buildings are directly accessible from the parking deck. Ventilation to the parking deck occurs by protected openings located above parapets on the ground, landscaped with rocks, vase-trees and bushes. A better description of this intent, as well as that of the introduction of a water element in the site, will eventually be developed in phase-two.
The Promoter - Duxton Plain Public Housing - International Architectural Design Competition