cgnArchitects' completed transport hub in Singapore incorporates the country's largest suburban mall
Jurong Point was developed over a span of 15 years with its last phase successfully completed in August 2009. As the largest suburban mall in Singapore, it comprises 98,000 sq m of retail, 610 units of condominiums, a civic and community area and a bus interchange as a mixed-use project. It was developed with the vision of creating a bustling suburban centre, where residents, shoppers and commuters can come together to shop, dine, learn and relax.
The land parcels were acquired via tenders and bold decisions were taken at the planning and designing of each land parcel to safeguard the development objective.
In 2005, land tender was called for the last phase of the site. The plot will house a new bus interchange that connects to Boon Lay Mass Rapid Transit Station, 43,000 retail and 610 condominium units. According to the planning conditions, the new bus interchange is to be tucked next to the existing Jurong Point and the MRT station segregating the new retail area from the existing.
After winning the tender, studies were done immediately by the project team. The architects aimed to optimise the different functional components while maintaining the design objective of creating a community hub. Recommendations were put up to the Planning Authorities to revise the layout out. The 'revised' bus interchange was situated parallel to the MRT station with a strip of new retail sandwiched between the two commuter nodes. Three major 'corridors' were introduced to puncture the retail strip and connect the entry / exit turn-style of the MRT and the bus interchange concourse. This layout allows multiple connection points between the train station and bus interchange. This has proven to be a more user friendly approach as commuters need not walk down long concourse; rather, they walk a shorter and more interesting distance through the new mall while changing mode of transport.
The planning of the bus interchange is a breakthrough as it changes the preconceived way of connecting transportation nodes. It allows seamless and more efficient connection for commuters, giving them the choice of remaining on the commuting route, or detouring to other activities. The design of the bus interchange fully complies with a very high standard technical specification by the Singapore Land Transport Authorities for internal environmental control (fire safety, mechanical ventilation, acoustic, illumination etc), vehicular and pedestrian traffic safety, universal friendly design etc. Computer simulations were run to verify swept path of all driveways and pedestrians flow rate. Considerations were also given to details like material choice and environmental signage to ensure that it is not a stereo type mono-functional space, but an integral part of a thriving suburban hub.
In July 2010, the bus interchange was nominated by the Land Transport Authority as a design entry and won the Best Design Land Transport Integration Award. It was reported that the planning and design 'created a new commuting experience' and it remains the 2nd most busy station / bus interchange in the Singapore.