by Natalie Ng, Sandy Low and Tseng Yun Ching
The COVID-19 Pandemic that shook the world has changed the way we work, live and interact with others. Work shifts to the home, individuals become more isolated and with the closure of many public food outlets, people become more self-reliant. Being social creatures, this experience has highlighted man’s longing for physical interactions. It has also brought to light the need for convenience, whether it is the convenience of changing our work-life habits or the convenience of having food just outside our door. These are factors for consideration when designing for the future, to prepare other pandemics to come. Therefore, this project focuses on these changes, challenging the typical notion of a skyscraper.
In the world of tomorrow, the skyscraper is no longer a concrete slab. Instead, it is a piece of architecture that connects with the landscape and promotes interaction: human to human, human to structure and structure to the ground. This project revolves around a farm to table concept, where residents plant their own crops and share the harvest with the rest of the community. The harvesting of light is also key in the project, and hence the derived form of the skyscraper is optimised to capture various qualities of sunlight for the different plants.
Working from home is the new way of working in light of the pandemic, it reduces the time needed for commuting and allows for greater flexibility in schedules. To cater to the changes in the way we work, the home doubles up as the workstation. Services in the home are reduced to the bare minimum, such as the toilet and small pantry so that it is optimized for two basic needs: working and resting. Each home is also equipped with a unique farm, where he grows produce for himself as well as his neighbours.
Man’s need for person-to-person interactions is also taken into account in the project. Larger community zones and common dining halls are designed and distributed around the skyscraper for individuals to gather and share their harvests. These dedicated zones for community gathering helps to rekindle the kampong spirit that the people lacked during the times of isolation. Therefore, a large proportion of living occurs outside one’s home, satisfying the social being. Circulation meanders through the buildings from one end to the other, starting from the MRT to the individual homes. Interaction occurs between the general public and residents, who generally enter the village from the MRT.