Leong Rong Guang
Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Ruzica Bozovic Stamenovic
As one of the most prosperous nation in Asia, Singapore has always been lauded for its orderly and meticulously planned city. Its built environment ensures predictability and standardization, to remove any chaos that could potentially interfere with its functions. Like a well-oiled machinery, every Singaporean is wired to fulfil his daily tasks in a routine that aligns with the nations goals as a collective.
Although this method of determinism has led to Singapore becoming one of the richest nation in the world, it has also led to it being one of the most stressed and depressed. The excess in predefined and prescriptive built environment views space as a quantifiable and commodified objects that often neglects the needs and wellbeing of the people.
Juxtaposing against the state narrative of deterministic architecture; my thesis takes an interest in how spatial perceptions can be altered through digital technology. It seeks to unravel the notion between architects and users, how by shifting the role of place making could empower the common-folk the freedom of choice and self expression.
Set against the pragmatic visions of the state as the backdrop, my thesis recodes the city as a growing and ever changing landscape, imagined and interpreted by its users. Through the narrative of Singapore’s CBD – which reflects the epitome of imagery and pragmatism. The allegory revolves around human’s need for self-expression and self-determination.
An Alterity Amongst the Sameness
ALTER EGO aims to create an architectural dialogue between the surrounding corporate buildings emphasizing its contrast and duality. Its presence is provocative, its familiar and it celebrates life.
In the real world, where ugliness and what the societal norms deemed as undesirable is masked away behind the cold steel and glass facade of contemporary architecture, the once hidden treasures of human desires are now glorified.
Singapore’s CBD, the busiest and densest area in the country, with average GPR of 11.2. The work-centric nature of this pragmatic environment has seen the erasure of identity and self-expression.
At the same time, the CBD is wedged between distinct zones of culture, art, nature and vice where people explore their true inner self. Such binary development provides an oppurtunity for an architectural development that explores the idea of escapism and indivdual expression for identity; a place of acceptance.
The insertion of that variety of spatial quality plus diversity in programs into the existing office spaces creates a new typology and experience. Each level is unique manifesting to its own microcosm.
Existing office space that are not altered will remain as it is, however office spaces that are, now becomes semi-public transitional spaces between the host and parasite. creating an oppurtunity fot collaborative programs like co-working and co-sharing spaces
in the Sky
To improve occupant’s state of mental well-being, the project looked into humans’ hierarchy of needs as a baseline.
Safety needs in terms of a sense of ease and comfort, one of the first places humans seek for protection and healing is nature. Coupled with AR technology, it is able to achieve an immersive experience in nature without having real trees and wildlife
Vision For The Future
The act of demolishing and rebuilding is but merely a short term solution to a long term problem. The idea behind it is to not only inject a variety of spaces with different shapes and sizes or combination of different programs and functions but it is to progressively alter the urban landscape and to break away from the notion of permanence in architecture.
The future of architecture must be able to quickly adapt and evolve organically to the ever-changing needs and desires of the society.
View Zoom Critique here: