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‘No More Free Space?’ Asks the Returning Singapore Pavilion

May 17, 2019

A Celebration of Singaporean Creativity Turning Constraints into Possibilities Opens to the Public from 17 May to 30 June

 

Singapore, 17 May 2019 - Is there truly no more free space in Singapore? That is the question the Singapore Pavilion from the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia asks. A response to the overarching theme of Freespace, set by the Biennale curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara.

 

Entitled, ‘No More Free Space?’ the exhibit tells the story of how, in spite of the limitations in physical space, Singapore-based architects, urban planners, and place-makers have creatively found ways to bring delightful free spaces to the city's everyday life.  

 

During its 6-month long run at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, the Singapore Pavilion received over 70,000 visitors. Returning from the Sale d’Armi, Arsenale in Venice, the restaged exhibition will run from 17 May till 30 June 2019 at the National Design Centre.

 

Set against the backdrop of Singapore’s compact urban environment, ‘No More Free Space?’ features 12 Singapore-based projects that showcase the resourcefulness of the architects, their inspirations and realization of ideas. All whilst borrowing natural resources such as light, air, greenery, and water.

 

Each of the 12 projects featured shows imagination, openness, discovery, and resolution to turn constraints into possibilities. Taking it one step further, the projects also reflect how architecture can tap into social capital to bring joy and connect individuals to the larger community.

 

The centrepiece of the Singapore Pavilion features an immersive installation, an ethereal cloud made of skilfully handcrafted acrylic knots gently suspended in mid-air that envelopes visitors to the pavilion. Complete with a multi-sensory projection of lights, sounds, images, and even scents, visitors find themselves immersed in the spaces within the cloud - in itself an example of a resourceful, unexpected free space.

 

In conjunction with the restaging of the exhibition, a design forum will be held featuring architects and designers from the curated projects, who will discuss their inspirations behind the projects they worked on.

 

Additionally, the public are also invited to participate in a clay hand-building workshop, where local studio Usually Usual will showcase the process behind preparing 100 handcrafted Jurong ceramic tubes for the biennale.

 

Prof Erwin Viray, Lead Curator and Head of the Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar at SUTD says, “The exhibit stands as a testament to how the creative freedom of the mind has the power to turn constraints into a myriad of alternative possibilities”

 

He adds, “Singapore is such a unique country, a multi-ethnic, multicultural, island city-state with a burgeoning population on a land area of just 720 km2. Its dense urban fabric has to support a multitude of uses and needs within demanding constraints. We hope that the exhibit will elicit a greater appreciation of the urban environment that we work and play in every day, and perhaps even spur the imagination of what is possible in spite of the limitations.”  

 

Commissioned by the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg), and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), and curated by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in collaboration with the National University of Singapore’s department of Architecture (NUS), ‘No More Free Space?’ was the country’s sixth showcase at the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia since 2004.

 

“Architecture can have a significant impact on the quality of life in any community as it can communicate memory, values and even a sense of place. The current built environment in Singapore is unique and reflective of our rich history and culture, combined with a modern sensitivity and modern dynamism. Through the showcase in Venice and now back home, we continue to celebrate the beautiful, quality buildings and public spaces that our architects have designed to enhance the city-scape,” said Larry Ng, Co-Commissioner of the Singapore Pavilion, Urban Redevelopment Authority.

 

“The Singapore Pavilion in Venice is a powerful platform to tell the Singapore story of how we, as a people, have not allowed constraints to limit our imagination. Instead, we’ve had the mental ‘free space’ to re-imagine what our compact city could be and used design deliberately to create better and more loveable places for everyone. We hope its homecoming will inspire the next generation of designers to use the power of design just as impactfully,” said Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council.

 

For more information on the restaging of the Singapore Pavilion, please visit: www.nomorefreespace.com

 

 

About the DesignSingapore Council

DesignSingapore Council’s (Dsg) vision is for Singapore to be an innovation-driven economy and a loveable city through design by 2025. As the national agency that promotes design, our mission is to develop the design sector, help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, and make life better in this UNESCO Creative City of Design. The Dsg is a subsidiary of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

 

About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA)

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore's land use planning and conservation agency. Our mission is ‘to make Singapore a great city to live, work and play’. We strive to create an endearing home and a vibrant and sustainable city through long-term planning and innovation, in partnership with the community.

 

URA’s multi-faceted role includes being the main government land sales agent. We attract and channel private capital investments to develop sites that support planning, economic and social objectives. We also partner the community to enliven our public spaces to create a car-lite, people-friendly and liveable city for all to enjoy. In shaping a distinctive city, URA also promotes architecture and urban design excellence. Visit www.ura.gov.sg for more information.

 

About the Singapore University of Technology and Design

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is Singapore’s fourth public university, and one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a multi-disciplinary curriculum. SUTD was established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and seeks to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs.

 

Also in collaboration with Zhejiang University and Singapore Management University, SUTD, a research-intensive university, is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programmes which incorporate elements of entrepreneurship, management and design thinking. Graduate opportunities include the Master of Architecture, the Master of Science in Urban Science, Policy and Planning, and various SUTD PhD programmes. www.sutd.edu.sg.

 

About National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Department of Architecture, NUS School of Design and Environment

 

A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. NUS has 17 faculties and schools across three campuses. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives. NUS also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

 

The Department of Architecture, which is part of the NUS School of Design and Environment, was established in 1958. Today, NUS Architecture offers a wide range of programmes, including landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning and integrated sustainable design. Building on the strength of its rich heritage and visionary leadership, NUS Architecture is poised to remain at the forefront of global excellence in architectural education and research, with a focus on high density Asian cities in the tropics. For more information on NUS and NUS Architecture, please visit www.nus.edu.sg and www.arch.nus.edu.sg.

For more information on the Singapore Pavilion, please visit website: www.nomorefreespace.com

 

Media Contacts

Naveen K.

On behalf of SUTD

[email protected]

D +65 9637 4747

  

SINGAPORE PAVILION AT THE 16th INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE EXHIBITION, LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA

 

Commissioned by

DesignSingapore Council and Urban Redevelopment Authority

Co-Commissioners

Mark Wee, Executive Director (Designate), DesignSingapore Council

Larry Ng Lye Hock, Prize Secretary (Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize), Urban Redevelopment Authority and Registrar, Board of Architects, Singapore

Lead Curator

Prof Erwin Viray, Head of Pillar, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design

Curatorial Collaborator

Prof Ho Puay-Peng, Head, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore

Curators

Dr Chong Keng Hua, Assistant Professor, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design

Tomohisa Miyauchi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore

Wu Yen Yen, Director, Genome Architects Council Member of Singapore Institute of Architects, Adjunct Design Tutor, Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore

Dr Jason Lim, Director, TakahashiLim A+D, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design

  

Commissioned by:

DesignSingapore Council and Urban Redevelopment Authority

 

Organised by:

Singapore University of Technology and Design

 

in collaboration with:

National University of Singapore

 

Venue:

National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969

To Visit:

 

 

Open for Public Viewing

Date:

17 May 2019 to 30 June 2019

Opening Hours:

9 am – 9 pm daily

 

 

Website

www.nomorefreespace.com

 

 

EXHIBITION CONTENT

Lucky Shophouse

 

 

CHANG Architects

We restored an old book store to become a residential house and, instead of maximising its built-up area, transformed the concrete backyard into a single-story extension and a garden, thus offering breathing spaces and green spaces for the family to enjoy.

 

T House

Linghao Architects

We brought the garden, the sun, rain, and breeze into the house with a partially submerged yet open living room, where the occupants of the house can live together, grow plants and enjoy the outdoors indoor.

 

[email protected]

SCDA Architects Pte Ltd

We designed inter-connected but separate loft units in high-rise public housing to allow young families to live close to their elderly parents, whilst retaining the privacy and independence of both parties.

 

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
& RMJM Hillier (Design Consultant & Medical Planner)

We integrated the neighbouring pond into the overall hospital design, and transformed the hospital into a waterfront health-promoting park for patients and residents in the vicinity to use for exercise, recreation, interaction and recuperation.

 

Enabling Village

WOHA Architects Pte Ltd

We adapted a former vocational institute into an inclusive space – integrating education, work, training, retail and lifestyle – that connects people with disabilities to residents in nearby housing estates and to the wider community.

 

[email protected]

Singapore Polytechnic,
DIA Brand Consultants,
New Space Architects Pte Ltd
&
National Library Board

 

We conceived a more engaging public library in a shopping mall, using design-thinking to study the needs and interests of library users and the community.

 

Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park

Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl Pte Ltd

We turned a storm water canal back into a free- flowing river, which meanders through a park, to bring back bio-diversity, and to bring people closer to water and let them interact with it, enjoy it, and cherish it.

 

Southern Ridges

Henderson Waves by
RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd
in collaboration with IJP Corporation Ltd, UK

 

Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk by
LOOK Architects Pte Ltd

We connected five parks and gardens in the southern part of Singapore by picturesque bridges and pathways into a 10-kilometre stretch of green open spaces where visitors can enjoy the best panoramic view of the city, harbour and the Southern Islands.

 

The Caterpillar’s Cove

Lekker Architects Pte Ltd

We reimagined a conventional office space into an adaptive open plan for young children to play and learn through exploration and self-regulation – a model for other early-childhood learning facilities.

 

Goodlife! Makan

DP Architects Pte Ltd

Using food as a connector, we converted an empty space below a public housing block into a communal kitchen to re-connect stay-alone seniors to the wider community through cooking and dining activities.

 

i Light Marina Bay

ZARCH Collaboratives Pte Ltd

To prepare for the growth of the city centre, we have been reclaiming the city’s waterfront since the 1970s. The Marina Bay district is testament to this national effort and has become a top destination for business and recreation where large-scale events, such as i Light Marina Bay Light Art Festival, are held – reclaiming the waterfront and its public spaces for the community.

 

Community Living Rooms

Residents of Jurong East & Tampines

Singapore University of Technology and Design

National University of Singapore

Residents of several public housing estates engaged in dialogues with town managers and designers, and collaboratively transformed unused corners into community living rooms and open farms for everyone.

Written on : 17 May 2019

Media Room