“The objective was to ensure
we did not create a place purely
for people with disabilities.
It had to be for everyone.”
Located in Redhill, the Enabling Village, designed by WOHA, is a demonstration of heartland rejuvenation and community building. Through a comprehensive masterplan and adaptive reuse of the former Bukit Merah Vocational Institute built in the 1970s, the property was repurposed to become an inclusive space that integrates education, work, training, retail and lifestyle, connecting people with disabilities and the wider society. The Enabling Village is envisioned as both a park destination and part of the neighbourhood’s daily commute network. To create this holistic integrated environment, WOHA’s design includes architecture, interior design, way-finding, lighting and the incorporation of art. WOHA also worked closely with Salad Dressing to develop the landscaping. The buildings – Nest, Playground, Village Green, Hive, Hub and Academy, which are names that reflect their functions – are seamlessly connected by ramps, landings and lifts. The main pond is anchored by the Nest which serves as a figurative beacon, drawing pedestrian flow through the new linkways. A timber terrace, laid over the courtyard at the Playground, steps down as an amphitheatre with integrated ramps. Pre-cast concrete pipes are inserted below the amphitheatre as resting nooks. The open space between Village Green and Hive is a garden yard with recycled oil drum planters and repurposed shipping containers that act as bridges, follies and meeting rooms. Landscaping and water gardens feature a wide variety of plants that complement conserved trees, attract biodiversity and support ecosystems; whilst verandahs and cabanas extend out of passages as outdoor meeting spaces that bring nature closer to people.