Gavin Low Beng Wee
Towards a New 'Circular' Architecture

Thesis Supervisor: Richard Ho

In cities, waste is being generated in massive amount as we continue to celebrate and indulge in a resource-intensive, consumerist culture. Rapid global population growth and the rise of mega cities around the world will only exacerbate this problem. At the rate cities are consuming today, material consumption by cities will outgrow what the planet can provide. It will require an equivalent of 1.6 earths to continue to meet the cities’ resource needs and to absorb its waste. The paper has chosen Singapore as a point of study on this issue.

While the issue of resource and waste is especially pertinent to Singapore, the city-state has remained relatively unconcern about its vicious resource-to-waste conversion cycle. Notably, the detrimental impacts of waste generated has remained largely unfelt as it is obscured from the public’s line-of-sight. 

 

The thesis posits that it is by developing Circular Commons,  employing the concepts of designing for disassembly and exploring avenues to nudge the public that the vision of circular economy and promise of zero waste can be achieved.

It is by developing Circular Commons,  employing the concepts of designing for disassembly and exploring avenues to nudge the public that the vision of circular economy and promise of zero waste can be achieved.

 

Existing F&B nodes are sources of large waste streams, and high footfall. As such a list of market-hawker centres and shopping malls had been mapped. These locations serve as intervention points.

Thesis Strategy

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Adhering to the principles of designing for disassembly, a series of design strategies were formulated to facilitate future change and the eventual dismantlement for recovery of systems, components and materials.

Design Strategy

Over the weekends and special occasions the Recycling Plaza will be hosting a Recycling Bazaar. Event Booths (in orange) can be set up with the same kit of parts as the main body and be located at the designated lots in the recycling plaza. The carpark is designed to the same tartan grid as the plaza - serving instead as an extension to the plaza during the days of the Recycling Bazaar.

Weekend Recycling Bazaar

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The Approach

Approaching Circular Commons from the Pasir Panjang Linear Park. The waste beacons – that changes periodically – attracts the attention of the public. The beacons like an arm reaches out to the public to bring them in.

Using the plot adjacent to Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre - the thesis demonstrated how the set of generic design strategies can be applied to a unique site.

Site Response

An open source of Kit of Parts is envisage to allow the public to customise their own units. Furthermore, to facilitate the adding, subtracting, substituting and modifying of parts throughout the lifespan of the building - a series of details had been design. This is to propagate the ideas of cradle to cradle - to prolong the lifespan of the building and its parts - and to keep the materials in a perpetual loop. The building components had been classified into six main building families - each of them sharing a unique detail.

Open Source: Kit of Parts

As oppose to how the built environment is conceived today - the thesis envisage the built environment as a living organism that is able to morph and grow with time. An open source of Kit of Parts is put in place to allow the public to customise their own units. One which users could freely contribute. This would allow for a constantly evolving structure, one that grows with the needs of its users – in real time. And for once, the public can have a hand in shaping their own environment

A Living Organism
Beacons of Waste: A Nudge

Explores how the nation can engender a bottom up approach to the issue on waste. How this work is that a community artist will be invited to design each of the tower using locally available waste materials. They will be designing parts that is capable of being installed onto a modular steel structure.

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