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Singapore Archifest 2020 Pavilion design competition winner has been announced

June 25, 2020

The winner of the Archifest 2020 Pavilion Design has been announced by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA). The selected entry by ADDP Architects espouses the theme of Reclaiming Connectivity that responds to the 2020 Singapore Archifest’s theme – Architecture Saving Our World – in a multi-layered manner, yet with a simple and subtle design, offering the potential for much deeper discussions revolving around the festival.

The design emphasises public space as an innate human need for connectivity and therefore challenges the current reaction of cultivating privacy through social distancing. By reinterpreting the traditional architectural order into a contemporary, open, free plan, Reclaiming Connectivity seeks to bring forth an inherent order to the current chaotic state of order in the world, and to connect individuals with the surroundings through porosity while maintaining safety. With a clear expression of structure and a human scale that brings a touch of intimacy to the atrium, the design is in line with the Singapore Archifest’s theme, reflecting a fine example of humble architecture and the quality of its spatial experience.

In addition, the sensitive and proportionate use of glass, sustainable wood and abstract photography is a refreshing connection between the old and the new, between traditional material and new technology, between artificial and nature and thus a combination that presents a harmony with the space. The design highlights the appreciation of illumination through the use of photography print on LES glass, seeking to bring people together by achieving a level of transparency while maintaining safe separation. Modularity allows a high level of flexibility for the pavilion to adapt to another context and venue. The design coordination to optimise packing, transportation, and finally reassembling in Singapore, also reflects the idea of connection across nations, across industries, and across technologies.

The pavilion invites the visitors to take a stroll in the sanctuary, suggesting a journey that feels almost therapeutic. In an increasingly fractured, fragmented, and antisocial world, the pavilion responds to the festival’s theme by calling for social connection to be brought back into architecture.

Two Special Mentions were also selected as a reflection of the diverse approach in tackling global and local issues, such as material lifecycle, marginalised community, and social cohesion. They include Hidden in Plain Sight by Zarch Collaboratives, and A Depository for Ideas by Tat Architects in collaboration with Formspace Architects.

The pavilion will be an integral part of the Archifest that will take place from September 25 to October 31, and will be exhibited at the event space at Urban Redevelopment Authority’s premises that will be accessible to members of the public. The SIA-LES Archifest Pavillion Partner this year is SG-Glass known for producing light-emitting surfaces.

This year’s festival director and one of the jury members is Dr Chong Keng Hua, associate professor of architecture and sustainable design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where he leads the Social Urban Research Group (SURGe), Opportunity Lab (O-Lab), and MND-HDB New Urban Kampung Research Program.

Dr Chong Keng Hua, Archifest 2020 Festival Director

He is also a Founding Partner of COLOURS: Collectively Ours, a design practice specialising in public space and social impact. He has also authored books such as Second Beginnings (2018) and Creative Ageing Cities (2018), while his research on ageing, health and data-driven collaborative design has contributed to the field of social architecture. Dr Chong is a firm believer in civic activism, having co-founded ReallyArchitecture in 2006 and initiated PARK(ing) Day Singapore in 2013, advocating inclusivity and citizen empowerment.

Other members on the jury panel include architect Chu Yang Keng, founder of IX Architects Pte Ltd; Mr Huang Ming, CEO, SG-Glass; architect Khoo Peng Beng, partner, ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism; architect Christina Thean, honourary secretary & co-chairman of Design Thrust, SIA.

Photos: Singapore Institute of Architects

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