Guess what? Another building in Singapore was voted number one and, surprise surprise, it’s not Changi Airport.
Still don’t get what I’m talking about? I don’t blame you.
After all, compared to the powerhouses like Changi Airport and our hawker centres, this building is considered pretty low profile.
But now, it’s a high-flyer among buildings because the building was voted the best building in the entire world at the World Architecture Festival.
Here are 8 facts about this iconic building, Kampung Admiralty, that every Singaporean should know about.
1. It’s a public housing project
It’s not a mansionette for rich people, nor is it a private property. This is actually a public housing project for elderly Singaporeans, designed to bond people of different generations together.
It beat down 535 projects from 57 different countries to snag the top prize. As for whether it’s prestigious or not, well, it’s considered as the Oscars of the architectural world.
2. It won because of kampung spirit
So why did Kampung Admiralty win? It’s not just due to the design, it’s also the spirit of the building.
The judges were awed at how the project dealt with an ageing population, social housing provision and commercial space, giving substantial benefits to the public.
In other words, it’s not just a building to stay at. It’s a building designed to solve societal problems.
3. How many lucky seniors got to live in this awesome development?
Okay, if it’s filled with so much fun stuff, how many people can get to stay there?
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104 studio apartments are available for elderly singles or couples to stay in two 11-storey blocks. During the BTO application phase in 2014, all of the units were snapped up.
Every unit is designed for “cross ventilation and optimum daylight”. Each unit is also equipped with an emergency response system where elderly in trouble can use to call for help.
But don’t worry about not getting a space there (either for yourself or your parents).
4. Because there’ll be more of such mixed-use development to come
This mixed development is a prototype to meet the needs of Singapore’s ageing population, designed to maximise land use and bring together a mix of public facilities and services under one roof.
In fact, it’s the first “retirement kampung” in Singapore.
And seeing how successfully it has managed to achieve its aims (I mean, it won the top prize, didn’t it?), there’s definitely more of such developments to be built in Singapore.
There are 9 similar Housing Board BTO projects planned for Singapore.
5. It’s a green building too
Green’s the keyword nowadays. Remove plastic straws? Go green. Keep Singapore clean and green. Well, you get what I mean.
And Kampung Admiralty’s not so different.
The building has a huge amount of greenery in a series of layered levels which is said to account for more than 100% of their carbon footprint.
There’s also a rooftop community garden where there are more than 30 different tropical species of plants including longan and chiku trees.
6. The building is designed to foster communication between residents
Ask any person on the street what they’re most afraid of in their old age, and most people will tell you they’re afraid of being alone.
Of being segregated from the rest of society, made to live the rest of their lives in solitude until they die.
With Kampung Admiralty, that will (hopefully) not be a problem.
Residents can come together to exercise, chat or tend to the community farms at the Community Park.
“Buddy benches” are also placed at shared entrances so that the elderly will be encouraged to come out of their house and chat with their neighbours.
Residents can also have a meal out together at the hawker centre located on the second floor.
7. They have a “community living room” too.
The People’s Plaza is at the lower levels of the building and meant to be a living room for the entire community.
It’s completely accessible to the public and is designed to let the breeze into the area.
Organised events will be held at the plaza where residents can join in and have fun. The plaza is also protected from the elements by the medical centre on the third floor so that regardless of the weather, things can still go on.
8. The development has close to everything you’ll ever need.
Remember how Orchard Road shopping malls used to enjoy booming crowds during the weekend?
It’s no longer so crowded anymore. One reason, is, of course, online shopping. But another factor is also because brands that used to be exclusively available in town are now available in heartland malls all around Singapore.
This building works on the same concept.
It has both childcare and senior centres located in the same building to encourage inter-generational bonding.
There’s also a medical centre on the third and fourth floor of the building, and even a hawker centre on the second level.
Currently, the building also has a Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Mr Bean, Starbucks, Mos Burger and Chateraise.
More will be opening up, including a supermarket.
After reading all these, no wonder the building managed to become the best in the world, huh?
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