Rail Corridor Housing
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Rail Corridor Housing
The Rail Corridor project offered a tremendous opportunity to envision Singapore’s next 50 years - a platform to testbed innovative ideas and inventive solutions which will enable Singapore to evolve into a ‘City within Nature’, continuing its legacy of innovation for survival and sustainability, whilst respectful of its history and heritage.
The Choa Chu Kang section of the Rail Corridor is envisioned as a pilot ground for a truly integrated development, combining the design and planning of parks and open space, landscape, infrastructure and housing. With intensive and creative use of land, the barren rail corridor and existing concrete drain is transformed into key landscape elements, returning more green open space to the community.
The evaluation panel commended the proposal as it places much emphasis on enhancing the ecology and green experience of the Rail Corridor and demonstrate how development co-exist with greenery – both the physical landscape and one’s experience of it – through careful design. The Rail Corridor is widened and transformed into a 50m wide Linear Forest and ecological corridor through extensive new landscape and plantings. In this aspect, the Linear Forest integrates the green identity of the Rail Corridor seamlessly with an extensive public realm and delightful living environment, while acting as a main circulation spine and orientating device for both residents and visitors.
The scheme provides innovative solutions as a response to the complexities of the site. By advocating a multi land use approach, the proposal demonstrates how living and recreational space can be blended seamlessly with infrastructural requirements. As such, a portion of the housing community above the re-developed Pang Sua Canal, and some precinct greens double up as floodplains for the naturalised Canal. The proposed decking of part of the canal allows the new housing precinct to integrate almost seamlessly with the surrounding communities and with the adjacent CCK estate. The scheme also creates a sense of place by making use of the given height controls to define 3 differentiated neighbourhoods within the larger precinct.
The evaluation panel was of the view that the housing typology proposed by the design team is well suited to the local climate and is a potential doable typology for affordable housing. While parts of the proposal warrants refinement – for example, the proposal to double-up the floodplains as a precinct greens necessitate further detailed design to ensure that sufficient usable communal space is given over to residents – the evaluation panel felt that such refinements would not detract from the overall strength of vision and forward-looking designs of the scheme.