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The Presence of Absence

Victoria Tan Yee Ling

- Adj. Assoc. Prof. Hans Brouwer


The Presence of Absence centers itself around the issue of global warming and its impact on coastal cities like Singapore. It critiques the way Singapore has dealt with protecting our infrastructure from rising sea levels in an incredibly static and unsustainable measure while proposing an architecture that embraces the constantly fluctuating sea levels. 


Set against the backdrop of Pasir Panjang Power Station, the design of a desalination plant acts as a means of changing perceptions of our rising tides from one which is a threat to a boone. The integration of utility and amenity proves to further strengthen this notion by bringing users closer to the processes of a desalination plant and therefore understanding the benefits sea water has on our city. 


Furthermore, the land is given back to our oceans by allowing salt water to flood the surrounding site, transforming it as water levels rise and fall. The daily tidal fluxes are made more apparent as recycled rebar structures disappear and appear with each minute change in sea water, highlighting the changes in sea water which often go unnoticed. Overtime, the structures act as hosts of marine life and allow nature to reclaim the land.


Supervisor's comments:

The topic of global warming and ensuing sea level rises has been the centre of discussion for some time now. Typically, the questions raised are either how avoid this happening or how to best resist it, when it does. In this project the issue is re-framed in a challenging way. How to accept this phenomenon and turn what is commonly perceived as a threat, into a boon. This has been achieved by inviting the ocean into the site and allowing the flux of its level to become the predominant narrative. The result is lyrical blend of practicality and poetry, translated into a spatial and experiential piece of architecture.

- Adj. Assoc. Prof. Hans Brouwer
Victoria Tan Yee Ling

“I’ll cry at the end of the day. Not with fresh makeup.” – Kim Kardashian