Brani Redux – Restoration of an Island Landscape to form Singapore’s new Waterfront

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Philipp Urech

This Option Studio in Sustainable Design will investigate the design of new landscape typologies with the combination of analogue and digital techniques. The studio is conducted in the context of landscape architecture and will introduce architecture students to a site-specific design method for shaping the environment. It will employ point-cloud modelling as a pioneering method to develop landscape designs based on the physical form of the environment. The studio will give students the opportunity to develop their design skills in the area of large-scale landscape architecture.

The aim of the studio is to restore the landscape of the Brani Island by transforming its topology towards new urban and landscape conditions. The design scenarios will emerge depending on how landscape elements, such as topography, water, vegetation and urbanization, are staged and interact with each other. The program includes an urban water front towards north with constructed water edges and connections to Singapore, while the central and southern parts of the island will include soft water edges, landscape patterns and ecological connectors. We will focus on forming the geometry of the terrain, arranging the composition of landscape patterns and organizing contemporary urban and recreational activities. Students will elaborate a site specific strategy both at a detail scale and an islandwide scale, through an evolving landscape design. Students will be asked to imagine scenarios that will
modulate topographically the island for a variety of purposes, ranging from landscape design to urban and waterfront design. No ground material will be transported in or out of the site.

The work of this studio will develop tangible and precise landscape structures at various stages and scales on the site. The qualities (re)discovered in the island landscape will be exposed through drawings, perspectives, models and other notations. Modelling tools that students already master will be associated with the new point-cloud modelling method throughout the semester in an entertaining and revealing way, helping to understand and verify the fundamental parameters at play in a design project. To develop a sensible approach to problem solving, there will be both theoretical and technical inputs to this studio in the form of short exercises and lectures. The tools will be used to reach the design goal of the studio by defining new urban landscape typologies for the Brani Island and combining means of
architectural and landscape design with regard to topography, tidal fluctuations, vegetation and urban design.


  • To allow the handling of a large-scale landscape, the work will be conducted in groups of 2
  • Basic modelling experience with Rhino 3D is required and will not be taught.