National Design Centre - The proposal for the National Design Centre is a showcase of innovation and encouragement in the possibilities of design. It forms a unique contribution to the urban fabric in the conservation district of Bras Basah, regenerating an existing structure to form a diverse flexible space for interaction and learning. Conceptually, the design is a composition of four translucent boxes constructed in steel frames and aluminium mesh screens, cantilevering and overlapping to form an interconnected series of volumes for both public and private uses. The composition occupies a strategic location visible from Victoria Street, drawing the public inward to activate the space. The design respects the existing conserved building with an insertion that serves to enhance the existing spaces within. The adaptive elements in the central
courtyard add to the internal volume and institute a new dimension to a previously enclosed space. To promote open courtyard interaction, the platonic aluminium cladded boxes operate as a new dominant feature within the central space, and provide a plenitude of areas for displays and exhibitions. These boxes are detached from the external façade, creating a three-storey interstitial volume that filters light down to the gallery. In addition, the new spatial volumes create a strong visual juxtaposition with the external conserved façade. The proposal addresses the need to activate the street frontage by arranging key public areas on the first level. A bistro café links the street to the central courtyard, and flows into a space for retail and exhibition. Galleries run the length of the central courtyard and continue to flan
k the edge of the open court, opening to an alfresco café area. Internally, the former chapel contained within the existing building has been redefined into a flexible exhibition space cum auditorium. The intervention is minimal with the major sculptural elements conserved, with only a veil-like folded aluminium mesh screen ceiling installed to frame and enhance the features. The insertion culminates vertically at the existing flat roof timber decked area as an open landscaped terrace, offering a place of calm respite in which to share thoughts and ideas. At night, the rooftop, together with the box forms, will be lit subtly, creating a composition of solids and voids and adding to the diversity and interest of the arts precinct. SUBJECT SITE - Located at the major intersection of Victoria St and Middle Road, the development is A&A Works to a set of 3 pre-war and 1 post-war conservation buildings. The existing buildings maintain high visibility to the surrounding area, and anchor the corner of the Bugis-Bras Basah district. Soo K. Chan, Aia, Fsia, Riba - Soo K. Chan, is a practicing architect based in Singapore. He is the founding principal and design director of SCDA Architects Pte Ltd, a multi-disciplinary firm engaging in the practice of Architecture, Interior, Landscape and Product Design. Soo obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington University and Master of Architecture degree at Yale University. Soo was the recipient of the inaugural President’s Design Award, Singapore Designer of the Year and the SIA- Getz Architecture Prize for Emergent Architecture in Asia, 2006. SCDA was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects Worldwide Award for the Lincoln Modern in 2003. The practice was recognized as one of the Design Vanguard firms. The works of SCDA has been published extensively in international journals and books including Architectural Review, Architectural Record, Interni, Lotus, Monument and World Architecture. SCDA’s works were presented at the Venice Biennale in 2004. He has taught in several international architectural schools including National University in Singapore, Syracuse University and has also lectured at Tamsui University, Taipei, University of Paris and Notre Dame University. SCDA’s portfolio of projects includes master planning, resorts and hotels, high-rise luxury apartments, commercial and institutional buildings and private homes, spanning several continents including Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania and America. In 2013, Mr. Chan began construction on his United States debut as principal architect and co-developer of Soori High Line, a boutique residential property located steps from New York City’s famed High Line Park. Soori High Line marks Mr. Chan’s second Soori branded property, his first being the Alila Villas Soori in Bali, Indonesia.