Option Studio: Youth-Topia II
Instructors: Jackson Tan, Adib Jalal
Every individual has their own timeline and sometimes these timelines branch out and overlap. This is the same for the different demographics of youth along the Somerset belt, except that these overlaps are short-lived due to a disconnected Somerset.
Somerset is disconnected in three aspects, physical, time and community.
Physical Disconnect: Upon site analysis, we have discovered that pedestrians experience a truncated journey along the belt due to the road junctions and discontinued sheltered pathways, especially between its main points of interest.
Time Disconnect: Somerset is unable to adapt to the changes of trends and the needs of youth over time due to its fixed structures and inability to evolve based on Youth’s ever-changing demands and interests.
Community Disconnect: The different groups of youth in the Somerset belt gather in segregated areas and spend long amounts of time within their own demographics. This contributes to the lack of interaction between each demographic and as such, creates a disconnected youth community.
Our solution to this disconnection is a three-pronged approach as shown.
Base Frame: An analysis of the circulation density in the area guided how we wanted to place the initial base frame to deal with the physical truncation of the site and redirect existing traffic from 313 Somerset.
An analysis of the existing flow of the demographics identified which demographics were targeted in each area and guided the design for the use of different module palettes.
Modules: A modular design which allows for growth over time. A base hexagonal module allows for a more organic growth. Each module is large enough to allow for comfortable circulation within, whilst small enough to fit within the site context of Somerset Road.
Interaction Palettes: To deal with the issue of a disjointed community, we created a palette of modules with a variety of categories. The overarching categories are based on activities which can be enjoyed by the different demographics, but also tailored to certain demographics, i.e., the nature palette for picnickers and the play palette for dancers and skaters. This is accompanied by a series of furniture blocks, which can be interchanged to further customize each individual module.
Day 1 Implementation
The Day 1 implementation of the modules across the site, which act as a skeletal frame to allow for future growth over time.
The distribution of each palette differs from area to area. In areas A and B, which are frequented more by shoppers and makers, there is a higher concentration of Shopping and Eating modules. Area D, which is located along entry points into the site (MRT exit and 313 Somerset) is staged as a neutral area with an equal distribution of palettes, to accommodate the largest variety of groups passing through. Areas E and F is designed to accommodate the skaters and picnickers, with a combination of Play and Nature modules.
To explain the full experience along the Co-Nectar, we will be following the continuous journey of a Shopper, the most common demographic along the belt. We start our journey from the top of Area A, assuming that most shoppers would start their journey from Orchard Road. They would be first introduced to the workshops and co-working spaces, where shoppers can see the process of makers before purchasing their items. This brings in a new shopping experience that cannot be experienced in any other mainstream shopping mall.
Cafe and eating spaces are also introduced on the upper floors, allowing shoppers taking a rest to continue discretely observing ground floor activities. Further interactions between shopper and makers can be seen along the ground floor with workshops allowing shoppers to try their hand at making, and also live artist performances.
Going into Area C, the Co-Nectar becomes more transitional, allowing its wide variety of demographics passing through more general ways to interact with more rest and nature spaces. Upon crossing through Red Box and over the Youth Park, more play interaction palettes are brought in to allow the shopper and maker demographics to safely interact and experience the fun that skaters and dancers are having on the ground floor.
In Area D, the Co-Nectar eats into 111 Somerset building level 2, allowing its modules to grow alongside existing shops. This opens the potential for more adaptable shop fronts as the shop palettes can potentially replace current shops. In the future, these shop spaces can be used for more varying uses based on Youth interests.
Exiting 111 Somerset, the Co-Nectar goes over Area E, a skater and picnicker area. To create opportunities for the shoppers, makers, and office workers passing through to interact, rest and play modules are added. This allows them to join the skaters and picnickers in sharing the same experiences and interacting from a safe and private distance.
The shopper’s journey in the Co-Nectar ends after passing through the MRT and going towards 313 Somerset. However, the shopping experience from Orchard Road has been continued through Area A, towards Scape, through 111 Somerset, and into 313. Overall, the Co-Nectar allows the shopper to have a seamless journey between the main points of interest along Somerset belt while extending the points of interaction between the demographics along this journey.
This close-up axonometric allows us to see the interaction between those who are above the ground on the second storey and those on the ground.
This sectional cut axonometric follows the path a skater would take through areas F, D, C and B. The continuous circulation removes the need for the skater to dismount from their boards, allowing them to continuously travel.
Interactions occur between the palettes, for example, where a resting skater is able to interact with a picnicker.
The first render shows an inside look of the underground space from the perspective of a skater. By going beneath the cars, it allows for a continuous undisrupted movement. Skaters would prefer to continue skating without stopping, and the underground passage provides that. Dancers are elevated above the ground and given their own space, and pedestrians are kept to their own lanes for safety purposes. Interactions are foraged through the dancers overlooking the skaters, to the pedestrians passing.
The second render shows area B from the perspective of a pedestrian from the second storey of the structure. Through it, one is able to view the activities happening below them, from the skaters skating to the groups of people interacting with one another.
The Digital Realm
To connect to the community of Somerset digitally, the youth can start to design their own new modules to add to the palette. Adding what they want more of and removing what they do not use, allowing for the adaptability over time.
Growth of The Co-Nectar
Shows one potential way for The Co-Nectar to grow over time.