CONTRIBUTING TO A VIBRANT URBAN FABRIC
Sitting amid the dense urban developments along Shenton Way within the bustling Central Business District, and with the defined Marina Bay skyline as a backdrop, the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) is adjacent to the Singapore Conference Hall (SCH), a national monument gazetted in 2010, and home to the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. The SCCC is a new civic and community institution, an initiative by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clans Association to promote traditional and contemporary Chinese arts and culture in Singapore. The SCCC presents itself as a platform for the multicultural identities of Singapore; a place for socio-cultural interaction, networking and bonding. The site can be interpreted as a confluence of numerous activities that contributes to an urban fabric that is both vibrant and dynamic.
ELEMENTS OF CHINESE LANDSCAPE
The landscape design of SCCC is inspired by the Chinese Garden concepts, gleaning specifically from 3 aspects –the representation and diversity of Nature, the subdivision of spatial framework designed with contemporary form and technology, and responsiveness to the local climate condition. It is designed to be multi-purpose, flexible and comfortable with friendly, outdoor social spaces for both daily usage and staged events.
Inspired by the bold composition and texture of a Chinese landscape painting, the landscape design has a multilayered composition, construed as a modern interpretation of Chinese paintings that typically depicts the relationship between man-made buildings and Nature. Each scene is deliberately composed to showcase a microcosmic representation of Nature, set within a framed structure.
DESIGN OF THE SKY FOREST
The Sky Forest is a multipurpose rooftop space, imbued with contemporary Chinese elements and forms, and fashioned to fit the Singapore climate. It is flexible event and relaxation space designed to epitomise the framework of a contemporary Chinese Garden landscape, based on 3 core values
1. Chinese Gardens are an endeavor to represent the rhythms and diversity of Nature. They are natural imitations of the various beauties of Nature. They are, at its core, the representation of Nature.
2. Chinese Gardens can never be completely surveyed or perceived from a certain point. They consist of isolated sections, subdivided by spatial framework like wall, doorway, screen and pavilion, which must be discovered gradually and enjoyed as the beholder continues his experience through the garden.
3. Chinese Gardens are the collection of micro-landscapes, of diversity of Nature. They contain a certain number of spaces, or thematic units, each endowed with a specific characterization.
Screens of glass walls divide the different spaces in the Sky Forest, creating different scenes as one walks through. The trees, planted in grid pattern, echo the modular construction of the architecture and express the convergence of Nature and Edifice.
A contemporary Moon-gate sits contemplatively within the grid of the Sky Forest. Inspired by the traditional Moon-gate, a simple White cube pavilion is punctuated with various sizes of circular openings. Each opening performs a unique function as a doorway, a window, a seat-wall, or an upper oculus framing Nature, to frame an activity or simply a countertop for drinks.
From a simple rectangle, the Sky Forest generates a diversity of spaces and programs.
Like the scrolling scene of a Chinese Garden, the planting strategy evolves as one meanders through the architecture.
At the ground level, as part of the urban fabric of a larger whole, the roadside tree species are selected to seamlessly linked to the surrounding context. Roadside tree species such as Peltephorum pterocarpum and Hopea odorata were proposed to match the existing roadside trees of the adjacent roads, and additional Cratoxylum formosum trees, the Pink Mempat provide an atmosphere of celebratory welcome and create a memorable passage by their spreading crowns of bright green foliage, with seasonal small pink-purple flowers, blooming en-masse.
At the Sky Forest, a bosque of Lagerstroemia floribunda cv Red with their spreading crown of maroon foliage and mottled bark, create a vibrant refreshing respite. The spectacular seasonal flush of delicate pink raceme interjects the quiet contemplative space with an outburst of colorful delight.
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Architect: DP Architects Pte Ltd
Lighting Consultant: Meinhardt Light Studio
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Civil & Structural Engineer: Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Project location: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore
Design year: 2013
Year Built: 2016