Eion Goh & Toh Sing Ru
With Singapore’ conservative culture, our youths lack the freedom of expression. Playful behaviour in a public setting is often frowned upon and regarded as rowdy, uncivilised and disrespectful. The pressures to conform to society’s standards have severely restricted the growth and autonomy of our young individuals.
This inspired us to strive for the concept of impermanence and organised chaos within the site, allowing youths and artists to take charge and alter the dynamic spaces to suit their preference. The design will serve as the medium for interactions amongst youths; synthesising their ideas and changes.
Project Vest is a safe space that gives youths a voice – one that allows them to freely be themselves, celebrating diversity, uniqueness and self-expression. This is done through the celebration of artistic and creative expression. The proposal acknowledges our youth’s motivations of self-discovery, finding significance in self expression and making their mark. By inspiring our youths to explore unique ways of self-expression, they will be empowered to go on to contribute to things larger than themselves in the future.
Through a systematic layering of grids, programs and circulations, voids and positive spaces are carved and divided, forming a series of clusters and zones. This creates a flexible system which has indoor, semi outdoor and outdoor spaces.
The triangle was chosen as the basic modular unit. Based on the spatial requirements of each program, a number of triangular modules are combined to form the desired space. Panels are hinged and fully collapsible. The modules are designed to be porous, to encourage visual connection between the studio spaces and passers-by, as well as to provide sufficient air circulation.
With this flexibility in configuration, Project Vest takes on a certain dynamism; youth are given the power to alter the spaces to suit their needs.
The components are modular for straightforward construction, as well as easily collapsible to aid in storage and transportation. Inspired by Michael Murphy’s ‘architecture that’s built to heal’, our team envisions collaborating with design students to plan and assemble the entire architecture. Further input from these students may also be incorporated into the design during this process, fostering a stronger sense of accomplishment and ownership, and allowing the finished site to truly belong to the youth.
The indoor, semi-outdoor and outdoor spaces of Project Vest, coupled with the unique aspects afforded by the site create zones of different character. The intimate back alley is a well-shaded space for artists to showcase art in a private and cosy setting. A quiet break-away from the butsling main circulation, pop-up food and drink stalls can populate this area, while the walls can be used for graffiti expression.
Inner courtyards act as shared spaces for collaboration. Demarcated by a painted visual boundary, resident artists can collaborate and showcase their creative process in full view of the public eye. Just behind the bus-stop, an open-air exhibition space for outdoor exhibitions, art installations and even performances grabs the attention of passers-by. Similarly, the naturally-cooled southern end of the site is a great space for artists to engage in larger scale activities, or even just as a space to sit and enjoy the shade.