Commissioned by the Housing and Development Board as an exploration of the future of affordable public housing, WOHA‘s public housing design for Skyville @ Dawson consists of 960 homes in Singapore. As a response to the enthusiasm received by the public, their project is currently under construction and is estimated to be completed February 2015. The design focuses on 3 themes – community, variety and sustainability. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Community: There is a variety of community space. Each home is part of a Sky Village: 80 homes which share a naturally ventilated community terrace and garden. The block is composed of 3 villages, stacked 4 high, for a total of 12 villages. Other community areas include: the Community Living Rooms at ground level, which provides seating areas overlooking the park, and is located on the main entrance route of the development; the Landscaped Park, which retains enormous historic rain trees and provides two community pavilions for weddings and funerals, play and fitness areas, courts and lawns; the Rooftop Park, which houses a 400m jogging track and rooftop pavilions which support a PV array that powers the common lighting; the Urban Plaza, located along a public linear park and provides supermarket, coffee shop and retail spaces.
Variety: The design gives variety by offering buyers flexible floor plans with a column free, beam free main space, eliminating waste and allowing diverse lifestyles, such as home office or loft living as well as future flexibility. 3 versions of each type were offered.
Sustainability: The design has been awarded Singapore’s Platinum rating, the highest rating possible. The project uses passive means and avoids the use of energy-intensive solutions rather than using high technology. Every unit is fully naturally ventilated, with every room (including bathrooms and kitchens) having windows. The common areas, lift lobbies and access walkways are all naturally ventilated and lit. The apartments are cross ventilated, with CFD simulations performed at the block and unit level. The units use passive means for comfort – all walls have vertical and horizontal sun breakers to shade both the walls and the windows, all windows have overhangs and special mid-height top hung panels that direct breeze to seating height and allow the windows to remain open during the monsoon period, the units face north and south and have openings on all sides.
PV cells at the rooftop power the common areas, and a swale which is a major landscape feature treats storm water before discharging it to the storm water system. The project uses landscaping throughout the tower in the sky villages, additionally it covers 50% of all roof surfaces. Two major landscaped external spaces totaling 1.5Ha are provided and open to the wider community.
The design is fully precast, to avoid on site waste and make construction efficient. This design uses passive design for the tropics. The innovation is the external, covered spaces between the blocks. These social and community spaces in the sky are a way to ensure that high rise, high density projects do not cause alienation, but instead can be vibrant living, low energy communities.
This innovation is an important transferable device that can be used across equatorial South East Asia, Africa, India and South America, where some of the fastest urbanization is occurring. The design was exhibited to the public for feedback and comments, and then redesigned based on the feedback. The Sky Village concept gives a greater sense of community and identity within the large precinct, and is designed to be a social space to enhance cohesiveness. Flexible layouts were developed, giving 3 options for every unit type, avoiding waste and allowing diverse family sizes and lifestyles, for instance home office or extended family. The history of the site is maintained in the community artwork project. The design includes blue glass elements which reflect the old Hokkien dialect name for the district Lam Po Lay which means blue glass. Old rain trees were kept and incorporated into the landscaping. The units were sold for less than half the price of a comparable private development, and were awarded based on a fair balloting system. The development was tendered through a completely open public tender. The design allows tropical living without air conditioning, and all areas, whether common or private are naturally ventilated and lit. The design is north south facing, and fully shaded. All units are cross ventilated. The design is highly repetitive, and is fully precast and prefabricated, reducing waste and errors on site. Only 5 window types are used in the entire development. The design creates variety through the re-arrangement of the modules, through color, and light and shade. The site coverage is low, enabling a park to be created around conserved huge existing rain trees. A 150m long landscaped swale treats all the water before discharge and infiltration. Over 1.5Ha of public gardens are provided. The roof landscape, vertical creepers to the car park and sky gardens provide 100% green plot ratio. PV panels are provided on the rooftop pavilions, enough to power the common area lighting. Dual Refuse Chutes for separation of Organic and Recyclable waste are provided at every apartment block. The design allows tropical living without air conditioning, and all areas, whether common or private are naturally ventilated and lit. The design is north south facing, and fully shaded. All units are cross ventilated. The design is modular, and is fully precast and prefabricated, reducing waste and errors on site. Only 5 window types are used in the entire development. The design creates variety through the re-arrangement of the modules, through colour, and light and shade. The site coverage is low, enabling a park to be created around conserved huge existing rain trees. A 150m long landscaped swale treats all the water before discharge and infiltration. Over 1.5Ha of public gardens are provided. The roof landscape, vertical creepers to the carpark and sky gardens provide 100% green plot ratio. PV panels are provided on the rooftop pavilions, enough to power the common area lighting. Dual Refuse Chutes for separation of Organic and Recyclable waste are provided at every apartment block. Singapore’s public housing system provides high quality social housing at very affordable prices. It is integrated with the superannuation scheme, and aims for 100% home ownership. It has promoted social stability and independence and pride in the transformation in one generation from a country of tenants to one of home ownership and prosperity. The homes in this project were over 7 times oversubscribed when launched, and are 100% sold. The design gives an urban plaza with shops and cafes to the surrounding neighborhood, and landscaped park with community facilities. The design uses quality of form, space, light, ventilation and proportion for its impact. The block is perforated, folded, and studded with gardens to avoid the appearance of a large mass. Rather than luxury of materials, the precast, painted design proposes resolution of social, technical and aesthetic objectives as the creation of the most value. Architects: WOHA Location: Singapore Design Team: Richard Hassell, Wong Mun Summ, Chan Ee Mun, Pearl Chee Siew Choo, Dharmaraj Subramaniam, Taraz-Breinholt Geb, Taraz Schirin, Jascha Oakes, Lim Yin Chao, Ranjit Wagh, Herbert Salim, Sabrina Foong, Alan Lau, Halim Wahab, Daniel Fung Khai Meng, Tan Yi Qing, Lee Chow Yeh, Tan Chiew Hong, Tan Szue Hann, Nixon Sicat, Kwong Lay Lay, Sivakumar Balaiyan, James Miranda, Dennis P. Formalejo, Joseph Buan Go, Rizaldy Formeloza Malabanan, Baishirul Mughni Client: Housing & Development Board Civil & Structural Engineer: LBW Consultants LLP Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: BECA Carter Hollings & Ferner (S. E. Asia) Pte Ltd Quantity Surveyors: KPK Quantity Surveyors Landscape Consultant: ICN Design International Greenmark Consultant: BECA Carter Hollings & Ferner (S. E. Asia) Pte Ltd Main Contractor: Hor Kew Private Limited