Sharlyn Hwang Ya Wen
Under | Elevated
Thesis supervisor: Dr. Swinal Samant
Situated in Jurong Gateway under the MRT tracks, Under | Elevated presents itself as an alternative public recreational space that is a neutral ground not only for the migrant community in Singapore, but for Singaporeans as well. The relationship of migrants with Singaporeans was always one of contradiction, with disparities between their treatment and economic contributions to the country. Referencing the concept of the third place by Oldenburg; the third place is seen as important and essential to everybody as people need places to socialise outside of their home and work.
The intervention utilises the leftover and forgotten spaces beneath the MRT tracks, both as an urbanistic strategy and as a metaphor for how the migrant community is viewed in Singapore. It accommodates for different levels of interaction with the celebration of different cultures and skillsets of the migrant community, in an open and informal park like setting. Through the stitching of urbanistic and intangible qualities of the day and night, and weekends, this thesis examines how their differences and transient nature can be a starting point to elevating them into the main social fabric of Singapore.
The proposal focuses on increasing porosity whilst accentuating the green spines currently present on site. The incorporation of green fingers, stitching of current social spaces and extension of mobility networks, serves to funnel people towards the site, engaging the wider community and promoting visibility and prominence to an urban void.
Continuous Green Spaces
Continuous Green Spaces Extending green corridors towards Chinese Garden and green fingers across the site to engage and activate informal public spaces
Stitching Social Spaces
Establishing a dialogue with the localised social spaces in HDB estates and larger scale commercial Gateway development
Extending Mobility Networks
Increasing exposure through circulation spines to create a space that can be transitional as well as a destination
Following the concept of Transit vs Destination, it introduces different levels of interactions through a set of spatial hierarchies as well as tapping on the change in character and people’s receptivity in the day, night and on weekends. The day is characterised as formal while the night and weekends are perceived to be ephemeral and informal. The various social spines encourage openness whilst accommodating for a more intimate experience.
The extension of the elevated J Walk from the MRT station towards the HDB blocks promote a greater footfall passing through the site.
The introduction of a large over sailing roof above the tracks can be seen as a bold gesture and metaphor in elevating the migrant community. This contrasts the smaller scaled spaces below that are more informal in character. The materiality of timber and brick gives off a warm and welcoming atmosphere to the new social space that is open and naturally ventilated.
As people pass through the site in the day, the spaces adopt a transitory character as the circulatory spines get activated. More formal community and recreational activities such as pottery workshops and community engagement with NGOs would occupy the clusters.