Heartland Cracks; Kukoh Transpires
This thesis argues that the neighbourhood framework is unprogressive, and what is set to safeguard and cultivate community identities can have limitations. The Heartland Cracks took on an extreme case of public housing, Chin Swee Neighbourhood, to demonstrate how the 3 issues identified, Overlapping Stakeholders, Hard Edges, and Undiversified Demographics, can disconnect a neighbourhood.
Kukoh Transpires builds upon the transient nature of the community and aims to overcome the stigmatisation and redefining the role of a rental housing neighbourhood in the modern day society - by establishing a stakeholders symbiosis, to encourage a collaborative relationship between the residents and public. The architecture intervention is an integrated project that houses a start up incubation hub as the anchoring program that drives the rest. Chin Swee will be given a new heartbeat that rekindles the community spirit and instils a sense of identity through togetherness in scaffolding for opportunities and working hard for better lives.
Chin Swee used to be the beacon for many who were once lost and beaten up in life, and this light has over time lost its glow and purpose. Since the start of its digression towards irrelevancy and obsolescence, a big group of its community has also lost their motivation to keep moving forward. These are people who have witnessed the transformation of our Singapore River. Even though some of them might have fallen off, these seniors embodied aspirations and great experience ready to inspire the younger ones. The people staying may be temporary, but the community spirit and identity of the aspirations will not be transient.
The thesis demonstrated an alternative to the enbloc and relocation approach in an ageing public housing estate, particularly in key core urban districts such as at the proximity of the Singapore River and Chinatown areas. The Jalan Kukoh public housing neighbourhood is considered one of Singapore's poorest areas, but the idea takes the opposite approach by preserving the current community, economically strengthening them, and empathetically restoring their dignity as equal citizens in rich and democratic Singapore. The planning method is centred on the creation of the new connection and activity node, as well as the placement of stimulating sub-nodes along the circulation tentacles. It is similar to acupuncture on the meridian points in that it creates and encourages healing energy throughout the city's anatomy.
- Assoc. Prof. Johannes Widodo (Dr.)
Lai Wei Song
Lai Wei Song