Singapore is a city, which has experienced large amounts of growth within a short period of time. The city has experienced the fasted growth in Asia and one of the fasted in the whole world (Discovery World, 2013). Large amounts of growth in the population have occurred so rapidly that the city only has a finite amount of space and resources, which have led to problems occurring with housing in Singapore. (Evelyn Ai-Lin Teo & Guangming Lin 2012).
The question that bore the nation is how can it house such large amounts of people whilst also still protecting its public and green spaces? This was a major concern for the city of Singapore. The on-going development in the city has been detrimental and at the expensive of Singapore’s biodiversity. (Biodiversity Singapore, 2015)
Evidently, these are two major problems, which exist in Singapore. These are Housing and also preserving Singapore’s green space and environment. The government has addressed both of these issues accordingly through utilizing contemporary design solutions. The major design discipline, which is relevant to this case, is architecture. Singapore has creatively devised a way to address their social, economical and environmental factors with architectural buildings.
The Singaporean government had to combat housing the large growing population whilst achieving it with minimal impact on the countries limited space and environment. (Evelyn Ai-Lin Teo & Guangming Lin 2012). An excellent example and representation of the solution to this problem can be seen in the Pinnacle@Duxton’s building. The Pinnacle@Duxton is a revolutionary building, which functions as public/social housing. It comprises of 7 towers, which are linked together with two of the largest sky bridges in the world. The Pinnacle, however isn’t just an ordinary set of residential towers, the public housing block also has the potential to be self sufficient as it is equipped with sky gardens, parks, a 3km jogging track, fitness corner, senior citizen facilities, playgrounds and also a community plaza. This effectively creates a self-sufficient residential block and creates sub communities, which is beneficial to the city of Singapore due to the finite space. This style of residential apartment functioning as public housing isn’t specific to The Pinnacle@Duxtons, it’s a architectural design style that has been present in Singapore culture for quite some time.
Public housing is a scheme and strategy that Singapore utilise as a means of housing majority of the citys population. In 1960, The Housing Development Board (HDB) was established to provide quality and affordable housing (Chu, Kathy 2011) Approximately 80% of the countries populations reside in public housing blocks. These residential blocks are affordable and for the masses. Not only does it combat that problem, it also is an effective means of integrating Singapore’s wide and diverse community. Singapore is primarily made up of Indians, Chinese and Malay (Discovery World, 2013). Though these groups of ethnicities are diverse, they reside in harmony because of governmental policies, one of these being the implementation of Public Housing. It is estimated that the spread of cultures in the public housing blocks are reflective of the spread in the cities population. (Discovery World, 2013).
The Pinnacle@Duxton and many other architectural builds in Singapore such as Gardens by the bay are also perfect representations of Architectural designs in the country. HDB is now more concerned than ever in building environmentally friendly houses that will be sustainable, environmentally friendly and also increasingly green. (Chu, Kathy 2011) Singapore is making efforts to integrate its urban environment with the natural environment by creating a city among a park. (Biodiversity Singapore, 2015) The brief that was given to architectural designers by HDB when designing The Pinnacle was not very strict however one of the key points which had to be met was being environmentally appropriate and keeping the natural flora and integrating it into the built environment.
Architecturally, not many residential buildings are as sustainable or self-sufficient when compared to The Pinnacle, let alone any public housing facilities. Design has had to shift its focus in Singapore due to social, economical and environmental factors. These implementations have all been put ahead or supported by the Singaporean authorities in order to ensure both the wellbeing of the city and to ensure modern, contemporary design in is appropriated into Singapore’s culture and lifestyle.
By Erfaan Arif
Biodiversity Singapore, Biodiversity information: Chapter 8: Singapore, An Interesting Case Study, Singapore, viewed 28th March 2015 <http://www.biodiversity.sg/biodiversity-information/view-slideshow/singapore-an-interesting-case-study/the-singapore-context/#>
Chu, Kathy 2011, ‘Once-affordable public housing in Singapore skyrockets’, USA TODAY, viewed 27th March 2015,< http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/usaedition/2011-03-16-Singapore-housing_ST_U.htm>
Dezeen 2014, “Singapore has balanced the need for density with providing public space”, video recording, Youtube, viewed 27th March 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RevuVQFYCXs>
Discovery World 2013, Waterfront cities of the world: Singapore, video recording, Youtube, viewed 27th March 2015,< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cnb6lrTVR0>
Evelyn Ai-Lin Teo & Guangming Lin 2012, ‘Factors Affecting Adaptation Potential for Public Housing in Singapore: Decision Makers’ Perspective, International Journal of Construction Management, 63-84,