Travelling to various places is one of the most important activities to hone and expand the design capabilities of an architect: spaces need to be experienced in order to understand them better. Thus, ARCHINESIA kicks off 2017 by bringing some 30 participants consisting of professional architects, students, and architecture enthusiasts on our recurring ARCHITECTOUR.
This time, we explore the unique city-state of Singapore, oft-heeded as “Asia’s design capital” where the strength of the design sector is a great driving force for the economy. How does this translate into their architecture?
Curated and led by Achmad Tardiyana, our trip was set around the theme of “Hospitality Buildings”. We stayed at designer hotels, explored a variety of architecturally significant sites, and visited the studios of prominent architectural firms. Our four-day trip was packed with learning and experience! Read on for our day-by-day schedules.
We explored the WOHA-designed Oasia Hotel Downtown, located in Tanjong Pagar. This hotel is notable for incorporating the tropical context with its high-rise greenery and vertical gardens, masterfully crafting through Singapore’s floor area regulations to create an open, lush, and climatically conscious design.
We visited the offices of prominent Singaporean designers, namely Ministry of Design and WOHA, where we were given a presentation of their projects. We also visited the New Majestic Hotel by Colin Seah of MOD, Quincy Hotel by ONG&ONG, South Beach Tower by Foster + Partners, and ended the day by staying at M Social Hotel by Philippe Starck.
We began our third day by visiting the office of ONG & ONG, receiving a presentation about their designs and working methods. We went to Wanderlust Hotel for a site visit, followed with The Sultan Hotel to look at two different approaches to re-purpose heritage architecture as hospitality buildings. We also visited the Wilkinson Eyre-designed Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay, and ended the day watching the light show at their Supertree Grove.
The final day of our tour began with having breakfast at the Philippe Starck-designed restaurant of M Social Singapore, Beast and Butterflies. We headed to the extraordinarily swanky Vagabond Hotel, featuring artwork worth half a million dollars apiece and decor from the original set of movies such as ‘Pretty Woman’! Our next destination was the monumental building of National Gallery Singapore, a remarkable example of refurbishment which integrates new structures and functions in a heritage building. We ended the day with a walking tour around Kampong Glam, one of Singapore’s most vibrant villages with a rich blend of culture, currently an emerging lifestyle scene.
See more coverage of this tour with the hashtag #ARCHINESIAtour on Twitter and Instagram. Follow @ARCHINESIA for live updates on our events as they unfold. Watch this space for more announcements on the next ARCHINESIA ARCHITECTOUR!