W13: Transformable Public Space

Site Observation

People in Chinatown are observed to be adaptable and able to appropriate whatever that is available to suit their needs. As a result, many events can happen within the same space. The streets and spaces are never defined precisely for whatever that is happening in Chinatown. People are using public spaces in a very adaptable and multi-functional way. 

We are designing Old Man Square to be an elderly-friendly space that is not singular in function; where people can adapt to cater for various programs of different sizes and typologies.

Site Organisation Plan

Some existing structures on site include the visitor centre, chess corner, and the Kreta Ayer Stage. These fixed buildings are proposed to be removed, however, each program will then be inserted into the mobile architecture to make the square flexible.

The square is divided into 3m by 3m grids following the existing tiling found in Old Man’s Square. After allocating some for circulation, the space for intervention would be within the 12 x 10 squares that are left. Additional trees are incorporated to provide additional shade.

Mobile Pods Design

Starting with a 3m x 6m x 3m block, the series of drawings below show features that are added to the pod, such as shades, mobility, accessibility, sustainability, as well as internal furniture. Toilet pods are available for the public to use in the form of mobile pods.

Main / Activity Pod Design

Photographs of Physical Model

Toilet Pod

Urban Configurations

Overview & Kits of Part

  1. DISCRETE: In this configuration, we aim to create a space that can accommodate small group activities such as chess playing and socialising in small groups. Therefore, pods for this configuration will contain mobile furniture that can be used flexibly inside or outside the pod.

2. COURTYARD: This configuration caters for medium size activities. The mobile pods will be equipped with mobile furniture as well as mobile monitors. This space is envisioned to be used as an extension of the SSLC, where the courtyards can become outdoor learning areas for the elderly to learn the various digital skills with the help of volunteers.

3. STAGING GROUND: The pods for this have both their green walls flipped down as these pods can be used as backstage areas for the performers when a performance is occurring. These pods are equipped with mobile storage units where props and backstage stuff can be stored aiding in performances or large scale events. This staging ground configuration creates a new stage since the Kreta Ayer Stage was removed. The stage will be the open space between the pods facing the Chinatown Complex. The stairs of the Chinatown Complex will be appropriated as seating for the audience. It is actually a place where elderly are already sitting around currently.

With the use of our sustainable mobile pods we aim to create a transformable Old Man’s Square where these pods can be configured to cater to the different needs of the elderly as well as making the square more lively with changing spaces.

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