The 2018 World Architecture Festival held in Amsterdam announced the World Building of the Year 2018 and it is – The Kampung Admiralty. Designed with a vision to bring public facilities and services together, the Kampung Admiralty is Singapore’s first integrated public development project, designed by a Singaporean architecture firm, WOHA.
The integrated retirement village beat 535 projects from 57 countries to secure the award of Building of the Year.
The word ‘Kampung’ essentially refers to traditional settlements and is found in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Cambodia. One of the earliest kampungs in Singapore was typically a fishing village along Rochor River.
A Kampung comprises a 4200 large structure on stilts and has walkways to allow you to move around. Restaurants, shops, homes and hospitals encompass the space to keep the community spirit alive and allow easy access to all services.
With the same vision in mind, WOHA was determined to restore the Kampung spirit in Singapore that has diminished over the years.
The complex maximizes its use of land and is an exceptional example that meets the needs of Singapore’s ageing population. It is located on a tight 0.9Ha site; its height is limited to 45m and takes up the “club sandwich” approach.
It has a people’s plaza on the lower level, a medical centre in the middle and a community park coupled with studio apartments for seniors on the uppermost level. These distinct layers juxtapose the numerous buildings to promote diversity of cross-programming and keep the ground level always available for impromptu activities and conversation spaces. The easy access to healthcare, commercial and social spaces fosters inter-generational interaction and active aging.
Elderly singles or couples can find a space in any one of the 104 studio apartments. Residents can come together to actively exercise, chat or even work on their gardening skills in the elevated and elaborate village green.
‘Buddy benches’ and the ‘kopitiam’ encourage the elderly to step out of their home and mingle with their neighbors and friends. This space embraces a design that promotes maximum daylight and cross ventilation.
What the Judges Say
The judges applauded the project for its reinforcement of longevity, health care services, social housing provisions and large commercial space. It incorporates a massive amount of greenery in a series of layered levels. The judges also felt that the project is a design inspiration for countries around the world.
Kampung Admiralty was selected as the Building of the Year by a ‘super jury” of four eminent representatives of the global architectural community – Mr. Li Xiaodong, Mr. Frederick Cooper Llosa, Ms. Nathalie de Vries and Ms. Lesley Lokko.
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