Since the start of pandemic, many of us are starting to remote work and learn from home, changing the way our homes are used and occupied. This resulted in some issues such as blurred boundaries with work and private life, family tension and reduced social interaction. With that, one in three saw a decline in mental well-being. With the increasing trend of remote work and learning, this provides us an opportunity to rethink our housing typology.
With the constant downsizing of housing units, little flexibility is provided to cater to this new lifestyle trend and impacted the social relationship at home where there is an increasing need for privacy as much as the need for social interaction. Despite the limitation faced within housing units, communal spaces on the other hand have the potential to cater to this change and improve an individual well-being. With that, my public housing project prioritises communal spaces instead of housing units where communal spaces can be designed to better incorporate in our daily life. This new housing typology should not be viewed as a cookie cutting for future housing but instead, as a project that can be found within a precinct with programs and facilities that is generous to the neighbours and create opportunities for all.
This thesis addresses the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic, in the context of public housing in Singapore. In particular, Hui Min seeks to respond to the tensions caused by remote working and learning owing to the blurring of boundaries between work and family life, and the lack of social interaction affecting occupants’ well-being. Her precedent studies highlighted the potential role and contribution of community and public spaces in addressing the stated challenges. Consequently, the Urban Nest sought to rethink the public housing typology through a novel overlapping and linking of housing units with public and communal spaces. It led to smaller and varied discernible communities in vertically stacked clusters, offering users’ choice, convenience, and access to a range of amenities nestled in naturally ventilated green spaces. Flexible and adaptable units with outdoor spaces were integrated in differing ways with a range of multi-scalar community and public spaces to create distinctive environments such as ‘work clusters’, ‘farming clusters’ and so forth. Neighbourhood scale amenities and public spaces were also stratified at strategic levels- ground, intermediate levels and the roof top, with a view to enabling their use and integration in daily life. The Urban Nest is conceived as a prototype that can be deployed within a precinct to serve the wider neighbourhood, one that is generous and creates opportunities for all.
- Senior Lecturer, Swinal Samant Ravindranath (Dr.)
Hau Hui Min
Hau Hui Min