Self-contained, solar-powered floating pods posed for Singapore waterways
International design studio SPARK has presented an intriguing new concept for a series of floating hawker pods. Whilst the project has been designed for the waterways of Singapore in line with a $11m government initiative to develop floating solar islands in the country’s reservoirs, the design team suggests that the floating volumes could be initiated as a ‘pop-up’ concept in other cities around the world.
A design statement from SPARK reads: “Singapore was built on an intimate relationship with the water, which has historically been an artery of culture, commerce and recreation. However, the recent decades of urban development, industrialisation and land reclamation have largely severed this relationship, deleting most of the traditional kampungs and kelongs from the coast, inland water bodies, and sea.”
In response to this situation, the practice has drawn up plans for the Solar Orchid, a self-contained, solar-powered series of floating pods. Each lightweight volume accommodates cooking stalls and all of the necessary support systems such as water, gas, and electric, as well as an area for customers to sit and enjoy the waterside view. The roof canopy is created using an energy-generating inflated ETFE pillow incorporating photovoltaic cells.
Project Director Stephen Pimbley says: “The idea of reinventing the hawker centre grew from the widely documented observation that the popularity of the traditional hawker lifestyle has begun to wane. We seek to re-energise the hawker centre typology while retaining the soul of a very Singaporean dining experience.”
Project Director: Stephen Pimbley
Team: Lim Wenhui, Peter Morris, Anusha Bajpal, Nanako McIntosh, Chanachai Panichpattanakij