Nur Farah Huda
The Polis, Artfully Re-Stitched
Thesis Supervisor: Teh Joo Heng
Site: Bras Basah - Bugis District
Artstitchstry proposes an organically expandable network of spaces for the arts. It builds upon existing interstitial spaces rather than tabula rasa. It re-imagines the car-lite future of the Bras Basah - Bugis Art District: Carpark spaces are left abandoned and rooftop spaces lay barren. An exhaustive mapping of carpark and rooftop spaces in Bras Basah - Bugis reveals a healthy typology of carpark and rooftop spaces located across several floors, henceforth suggesting an untapped 3D network within the district itself.
As an urban design exploration, Arstitchstry rethinks Alison Smithson’s (Team X, 1974) “Mat Building” and deconstructs it within the context of a metropolis. As an architectural venture, Arstitchstry is curated as a 3D promenade experience, exposing the public to varying types of arts engagement under different spatial thresholds: Indoor vs. Outdoor, Private vs. Public. Reflective of its name, Arstitchstry serves to redefine access to the arts by making arts accessible within the cityscape, therefore giving agency to public engagement.
Space Generation in a Car-Lite Future
The Urban Sandwich
The carpark and rooftop spaces closely relate to one another and complement the existing art facilities in the site. Concentrating on the cluster of spaces along Bencoolen Street and Middle Road, 3 main artistic programs are introduced. Sectionally they relate to one another; the Makerspace leads into a Craft Exhibition Forum (Section B-B) which can be simultaneously be tapped into by the Culinary Arts space and an Artist’s Sanctuary (Section A-A) where international, regional and local artists cross paths. This relationship creates diversity in the arts scene and gives impetus to the surrounding art facilities.
CULINARY ARTS CENTRE
Podium CP to Rooftop Stitch
The first volumetric stitching typology present in the site is of a Culinary Arts Centre to Fortune Centre where the repurposed podium carpark relates to a rooftop space through an existing volume of offices. “Collaboration” spaces are situated in almost every podium floor to serve as buffer spaces where existing users and formal art practitioners can interact. These “Communal Kitchens” and “Culinary Events Spaces” ease the transition from the existing offices to proposed art fabrication spaces such as the training kitchens and rooftop gardens.
Basement CP to Rooftop Stitch
Another type of volumetric stitching is present between an Artists’ Residence and the existing NAFA Campus 3 Art School where the basement carpark meets the rooftop through an existing school volume. Similarly, buffer “collaboration” spaces have been introduced albeit submerged on the basement level and serves as a common focal point where art students in NAFA can collaborate with professional art practitioners. This collaboration redefines the nature of art education in Singapore, from being regarded as a specialised field of study to one that is collaborative, participatory and productive.
MAKERSPACE + CRAFT
Podium CP to Podium CP Stitch
The last type of volumetric stitching would be that of a Makerspace to the existing Singapore Pools Office building and a Craft Exhibition Forum to the existing Hotel G. This is where two podium carparks merge with each other and simultaneously relate to the existing built volume. Collaboration spaces here exist as workspaces that can be rented both as individual work and corporate spaces and. They aspire to be an organic and ever-growing community of knowledge exchange between skilled craftsman and startups. Craft can be taught, practised, fabricated and exhibited.
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