Chang Chooi Ming Melanie Marie
Fourth Nature

Thesis supervisor: A/P Nirmal Kishnani

Site: Singapore Island Country Club

In Singapore, nature presents itself largely in the form of gardens and green buildings that seek to coexist with nature. Yet, they are markedly limiting in supporting biodiversity and primarily function for anthropocentric uses. Fourth nature seeks to form a partnership between humans and nature, one that calls for a new wilderness that regenerates our native biodiversity threatened by sustained development,

and one that integrates green, blue and urban systems so that we may live harmoniously with nature. This prototype transforms the problematic site of the Singapore Island Country Club and the Bukit Kallang service reservoir which fragments our core nature reserves - land that is both ecologically important for native biodiversity critical for our water supply - into a site for reforestation.

Bridging the Forest

Expanding the nature reserve & forming a continuous forest canopy for biodiversity to flourish

Continuity of Water Systems

Relocating the service reservoir & extending the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park’s naturalised river

Extending the Park

Acting as a gateway for the public and connecting pathways with existing nature reserve trails

Submerging the Architecture

Accommodating communal spaces for the public & amenities for NParks & PUB for management of the nature reserve

Reforestation Grid: Spatial & Temporal Propogation

The reforestation grid forms the underlying order of the masterplan, accelerating succession of the forest as opposed to natural restoration so that a young forest may emerge in thirty years.

Observatory & Wildlife Habitat Design

The observatories within the reforestation grid allow visitors to experience the different layers of the forest, while keeping them hidden so as to minimise disturbance to the wildlife. Peeking above the canopy, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the forest.

They double as a living facade intending to provide food for wildlife with interconnected habitats positioned and tailored for certain species, such as cavities high in the canopy for frugivorous birds and  caverns for insectivorous bats in the understorey to roost.

NParks + PUB Research & Training Facility & Visitor Centre

The submerging of the architecture allows for continuity of the landscape above to serve as pathways for wildlife. The public coming in from Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park are led underground to the visitor centre, which houses galleries and other spaces for raising ecological awareness and community engagement, and amenities for NParks and PUB, ensuring that programmatic needs for our built environment are still achieved, but in a more sensitive manner. The bottom-most basement accommodates the water treatment infrastructure and the service reservoir. This is what fourth nature means - a creation of space not just for humans, but also for the forest to grow and for wildlife to thrive in a shared environment.

The water treatment process integrates natural and built infrastructure. Excess water discharged from the reservoir are filtered and cleansed through a series of wetlands and brought down for further treatment before entering the service reservoir, which has a storage capacity of 44 million gallons.

Skylights placed rhythmically along the edges allow natural light to flood into the subterranean spaces, giving the public a view of the forest above and the reservoir below, creating a dialogue between humans and nature.