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Thread: Dhoby Ghaut set to turn super hip

  1. #1
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    Default Dhoby Ghaut set to turn super hip

    Published March 27, 2008

    Dhoby Ghaut set to turn super hip


    COME early 2009, the vacant space above Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station may just be the hippest spot in town, playing host to flea markets, soccer matches, buskers and community performances.

    Unveiling a plan to transform the area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday it will spend an estimated $4 million on a sculptured outdoor amphitheatre and a cafe pavilion on the yet-unnamed open space.

    Architect Chan Soo Khain, winner of the inaugural President's Design Award for Architecture and Urban Design, has been commissioned to handle the project.

    According to Mr Chan, the amphitheatre will be the centrepiece that invites people into the space. Designed to 'melt back into the landscape', the partly-sheltered theatre will have a spiral design with woven aluminium louvres inspired by a rattan basket.

    It will be built into the ground, with a structural height of no more than 4-5 metres. 'We wanted to create a unique arrival experience, that of walking down a ramp into the theatre,' Mr Chan explained.

    The interlocking curves of the amphitheatre will divide the land into three zones: a paved plaza area at the western end; an open field at the eastern end; and the amphitheatre itself, which will house a stage and associated amenities such as changing rooms.

    When completed, the 1.3 hectare space will be open to the public at all times, functioning like a neighbourhood park in the city centre. The land will serve the community for at least 10-20 years as there are no plans to develop it in the medium term.

    URA said open spaces enhance and enrich community life and add more vibrancy to the city. It is hoped this new project will add variety to existing public parks and open spaces in the city centre.

    'We hope this new open space will reinforce a sense of belonging to the city,' said URA chief executive Cheong Koon Hean.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dhoby Ghaut set to turn super hip

    URA plans new community space at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station

    Posted: 26 March 2008 2129 hrs

    The open space above the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station will be Singapore's latest venue for community activities and performances.

    This is all part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)'s plan to increase the number of public spaces along the Orchard Road area.

    By July next year, the plot of land at Dhoby Ghaut will be transformed into a new space that will host community events and performances.

    The project is part of URA's strategy to provide variety along the Orchard Road shopping belt.

    Fun Siew Leng, Director, Urban Planning and Design, URA, said: "We'd like to continue to safeguard some of these vacant state land for future rejuvenation for the area. So in the interim, we thought that it's better to put it to a better use. We put some facilities and amenities there and the public can get to enjoy the space better."

    The site sits at the crossroads of three rail lines and features an integrated borderless design.

    The centrepiece will be this outdoor amphitheatre that will serve as a stage for community performances.

    The unique "basket-weave" design of aluminium screens can seat up to 500 for an "outdoor room" concept.

    Chan Soo KIan, Design Director, SCDA Architects, said: "It's a little bit of form follows function and form dictating function. We're working with various forces. We're also responding to the unique site conditions as it's next to the MRT and next to several drop off and bus stations. So we had to approach from the point of view that this structure would not have a front or a back."

    "There'll be more land area for people to do their activities and there won't be so many buildings," said one member of the public.

    "Great because people need more space, more places like this to have morning exercise," said another.

    The project will cost around S$4 million.

    URA says feedback was gathered from community stakeholders and their input incorporated into the final design.

    Community stakeholders included the People's Association and the Singapore Management University to better understand their needs. - CNA/ch

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