Jevin Li Zhaoyuan
The Habitat

Thesis supervisor: Dr Swinal Samant

Site: Tampines Central

Singaporeans clock a very high average of 44.6 working hours a week and the time-starved nature of their hectic lifestyle has resulted in fewer opportunities for planned physical exercise, and favouring convenient food options such as fast food and ordering takeout. These issues present a series of problems associated with both mental and physically well-being.

The Habitat seeks to reimagine the possibilities of public housing in Singapore - one that encourages a more holistic approach  towards health and well-being. To achieve this objective, interweaving loops of food, exercise and community spaces create an environment that facilitates a paradigm shift in our concepts of daily living - with food production, job opportunities, learning and physical activities from home.

Systems & Circularity

The resultant programs create a system that is sustainable and supportive of other components, for a truly holistic approach towards health and well-being for all. with the introduction of community farming, not only is food resilience enhanced, a stronger sense of community is also fostered.

At the same time, the levels of incidental physical activity are increased. Jobs for the maintenance and upkeep of these programs are also created. Moreover, residents also have the opportunity to sell their produce in the farmer’s market.

Tampines Central

Proposed as a new development on a 40,200 sqm site in Tampines Central, the project leverages on the existing networks,  expanding available systems and enhancing connectivity within the precinct.

With a direct visual connection to the exhibition space, the seminar rooms become an extension of the events that are happening around them. The exhibition space itself occupies the first storey hall and can be expanded vertically with multi-storey booths, improving connections with the conference spaces on the higher levels.

Site & Networks

The Site is located along Tampines Avenue 5, adjacent to Tampines Central Park; and has the potential to tap onto the existing cycling networks and improve connectivity to key nodes such as Our Tampines Hub, Tampines MRT and Bus Interchange. Connectivity with the surroundings is also highly enhanced by extending the cycling trails and pedestrian trails through the Site.

There is also direct accessibility with the immediate buildings, as it straddles over two adjacent multi-storey car parks and is connected to the nearby Jun Yuan Secondary School. Beyond the ground floor, the connectivity also spirals upwards as loops of physical activity with bridges and ramps. 

The Building in a Park

The greenery from the adjacent park is extended and cuts through the site; resulting in two parts, where greenery flows into ground floor and upwards throughout the development as loops of green and farming spaces. The project is based on a podium-tower typology, as a development that features a forest-like trail on the ground floor. 

The interweaving of food, exercises and community spaces are all present. With this, there is also the creation of jobs on site, where residents can choose to work at the farmer’s market or conduct fitness classes such as Yoga and Pilates in the studios. The podium block is a one stop destination for farming, learning, living and playing.

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Physical Activity, Community, Food and Farming Hub

More public spaces and programs are located within the podium block. This is before the transition to the semi-public farming deck on the fourth floor and the private residential towers above.  Throughout the development, there is farming of different scales that are pervasive. The 4th Storey consists of an extensive community farming deck.

The farming deck is not only for residents of The Habitat, but also for residents in Tampines Central, as a hub for Community Farming. The Farming deck attempts to straddle across the adjacent multi-storey carparks. This improves accessibility to the farming deck, but also provides functional utility to the car park roof decks that are otherwise underutilised. 

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Farming & Connectivity of Residential Towers

In addition to mushroom farming in the basement and the farming deck, there is also farming within the residential towers. This takes place with the farming terraces, unit farming as well intensive vertical farming on the roofs. The intensive vertically farming ensures that it is a commercially viable community effort where there is an outlet to market and, can be sold to vendors.

There are cascading terraces available on various floors that bring farming even closer to the residents. The housing concept creates a vertical village within the residential tower. Loops of community and exercise is enhanced with the physical and visual connectivity between each floors.