Singapore’s one-stop shop

Nick Myall
Friday 26 Aug 2016

An integrated complex that caters for an aging population with close proximity to healthcare, social and commercial amenities

Kampung Admiralty, designed by WOHA Architects, is Singapore’s first integrated public development that brings together a mix of public facilities and services under one roof. The traditional approach is for each government agency to carve out their own plot of land, resulting in several standalone buildings. This one-stop integrated complex, on the other hand, maximises land use, and is a prototype for meeting the needs of Singapore’s ageing population.

Located on a tight 0.9Ha site with a height limit of 45m, the scheme builds upon a layered ‘club sandwich’ approach. A “Vertical Kampung (village)” is devised, with a People’s Plaza in the lower stratum, a Medical Centre in the mid stratum, and a Community Park with studio apartments for seniors in the upper stratum. These three distinct stratums juxtapose the various building uses to foster diversity of cross-programming and frees up the ground level for activity generators. The close proximity to healthcare, social, commercial and other amenities support inter-generational bonding and promotes active ageing in place.  

The People’s Plaza is a fully public, porous and pedestrianised ground plane, designed as a community living room. Within this welcoming and inclusive space, the public can participate in organised events, join in the season’s festivities, shop, or eat at the hawker centre on the 2nd storey. The breezy tropical plaza is shaded and sheltered by the Medical Centre above, allowing activities to continue regardless of rain or shine. Locating a Medical Centre in Kampung Admiralty means that residents need not go all the way to the hospital to consult a specialist, or to get a simple day surgery done.  

To promote wellness and healing, the centre’s consultation and waiting areas are bathed in natural daylight from perimeter windows and through a central courtyard. Views towards the People’s Plaza below, and the Community Park above also help seniors feel connected to nature and to other people. 

The Community Park is a more intimately scaled, elevated village green where residents can actively come together to exercise, chat or tend community farms.  Complementary programmes such as childcare and senior care centres are located side by side, bringing together young and old to live, eat and play. A total of 104 studio apartments are provided in two 11-storey blocks for elderly singles or couples. “Buddy benches” at shared entrances encourage seniors to come out of their homes and interact with their neighbours. The units adopt universal design principles and are designed for natural cross ventilation and optimum daylight.

Nick Myall

News editor

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