Samuel Ow Sian Tze
New Babylon Gardens

Thesis Supervisor: Adrian Lai

Site: Paya Lebar Airbase

The New Babylon Garden is the first overt instrument of Singapore’s water, food and energy resilience in her progress as a nation and an eventual civilisation. There is however a glaring misalignment between Singapore’s actual needs and her citizen’s perception of each individual’s needs, causing the bulk of discontentment voiced by a substantial minority.   Directly addressing the slew of barriers where citizens are left out in the participation in the two existing types of protected and unprotected catchment areas of rainwater, the new farming and water district proposes a third “participatory catchment area” type. Using this new catchment type, the masterplan is an alternative landscape using the gradual storage of water and its enlistment for the production of energy and food, in a manner that makes explicit this need for survival. 

Identifying the potential for the changing catchment boundaries, the rising levels and the mechanics of different farming and the logistics of its servicing and distribution, as architectural instruments to spawn new communities of specialist demographics, it is envisioned that the new district will over time, distinguish itself as a water town, a research institute and a generation of characteristic citizens.  

Function: Water catchment storage, Water distribution centre, institute of research, water recreational sports, Rain garden, floating green market, and hydro generator facilities. Aquaponic farming towers of salmon, carp, lettuce and Temasek rice. Devices: Tesla Valve & Water Clock Siphons Demographic: Barge builders, deep excavation engineers, food and agriculture scientists, water purification technology engineers, , architects and landscape architects, horticulturists, botanists, teachers.  

Timeline of water basin 2020-2061

As water continues to accumulate over the next 20 years to fill the basin, barges built in the early years when the “docks were dry” will begin to become integral part of the logistics management system. These barges will continue to animate the waterscape as it reshapes polders and the threshold of public engagement in this “participatory catchment area.”  By the year 2044, these barges will begin to play a part in the constructing of sluice gates regulating the flow of water into the water storage tanks concealed 150m below ground.

View Zoom Critique here: