Muhammad Zikri Bin Musa
Reconnecting Habitat Patches and Reuse of Disturbed Land
Thesis Supervisor: Teh Joo Heng
Project Site: Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE)
In response to the concept of a green city and how it can affect the perception of ecotourism, this thesis focuses on a proposal for a wildlife crossing network with an ecotourism aspect that does not encroach into natural habitats and instead uses a space that has previously been disturbed by human development; the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE).
The expressway currently separates the two main nature reserves in central Singapore, Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve; reconnecting these two areas would be crucial in the survival of certain threatened species in the area while also preserving the forest habitats. The placement and design of the crossing are optimised for use by wildlife while the placement of eco-lodges will be planned to be less intrusive towards the existing forested areas.
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve consists of higher elevations, whereas the opposite side has gentle slopes that lead down to the reservoirs. The modified topography seeks to allow for a more natural flow in the landscape, and a seamless connection of the two sides; creating a link to the water bodies.
The bridge extends contour lines from the existing topography to create a smooth path that matches with the contours on the opposite end. It also pulls the topography into a more valley-like shape which encourages a wildlife movement corridor.
The expressway will remain while people would traverse along the existing pipeline trail underneath the bridge as well. Above ground, the crossing provides multiple opportunities and pathways; increasing usage by the wildlife.
The valleys that carry the wildlife crossing are prioritised while the in between spaces are fitted with human programs. Above ground, the lodges get a view downwards into the core as well as outward towards the surrounding forests.
Level 1 connects to the pipeline trail and is elevated above the highway to avoid encompassing surrounding areas while providing a base. The intermediate floors are the main activity areas while the upper floors carry the lodges and other amenities.
Levels 2&3 are built in modules that are arranged via a column grid, allowing for multiple uses to be developed while the cores provide easy access to move between the upper and lower halves. The gridded radial structure largely supports the upper half and will also maintain a level of transparency for the visitors.