Bukit Timah Family Baths | Wong Siong Min

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Option Studio: Above, Under and Beyond
Instructor: Khairudin Saharom

A cosy and intimate space for a fun day out with one’s family in the heart of Bukit Timah – this proposal to redesign and revitalize the unused spaces beneath the Farrer Road x Dunearn Road Flyover is not only a flood mitigation measure in Bukit Timah’s high flood-risk zone, but also promotes intergenerational bonding within families through rest, relaxation and play suitable for all ages. The baths bring life to the once dull and monotonous space beneath the flyover, embracing the darkness it provides.

Site Context

The flyover takes on an interesting role as the interface between the residential and commercial zones in this area. The baths aim to encompass this nuanced dynamic between private and public zones, by responding to both sides to create an intimate experience in a seemingly open and public space for users to enjoy.

  • Massing Strategies
  • Stormwater Management Strategies

Massing Strategies

The circular baths symbolise togetherness and a sense of community, promoting interaction and bonding among users. The baths are positioned and oriented to capture the scenic beauty of the site, organised by programmes that respond to the public and private sides of the flyover accordingly. This creates a strong juxtaposition between darker, more intimate spaces tucked beneath the flyover and the open water play areas outside.

Stormwater Management Strategies

As the site is highly susceptible to frequent flash floods that affect residents and business owners in the area, the introduction of a stormwater detention tank underground and permeable paving can facilitate drainage on days with heavy rainfall. Natural and advanced technological methods for rainwater purification are incorporated into the drainage system, ensuring that the water for the baths is clean and safe to use.

The ground level offers a wide variety of seasonal baths, allowing users from all walks of life to enjoy the same space together. As Singapore well-known for high stress levels in society, the different baths are tailored to local needs, with high-pressure jet baths to relax sore muscles and traditional herbs and minerals for a nourishing and refreshing soak after a long day. The open water play areas invite passers-by to enjoy the space as well and learn about the source of this water and how it benefits the community.

Section A-A’

The ‘floating’ family baths available for rent on the mezzanine not only offers additional privacy for families or groups who wish to enjoy the relaxing baths away from the crowds, the floating structures contribute to the visual labyrinth of the space, giving the illusion of a more enclosed space that is comfortable for a dip in the spa. For those who enjoy their personal space, the columns of the flyover also serve as solo sauna pods.

Section B-B’

The baths facing Shelford Green are surrounded by greenery for a quieter, meditative experience. On the opposite side of the flyover, the public water play areas bustle with exciting activities.

Original source from: http://asd.courses.sutd.edu.sg/option-studio-one/2021/12/22/bukit-timah-family-baths-wong-siong-min/