SUTD-ONG&ONG AiR Studio / Studio Master – Andrew Lee

by SUTD-ONG&ONG AiR Studio

Architecture students presented their masterplans for a future Turf City as the heart of food cultivation and production – providing a shorter and secondary supply chain against food supply disruption as well as new live-work-buy hub for food consumption.

Turf City Heart; Turf City Hub

Through exploring the potential of indoor urban logistic farms in enhancing food security in a post Covid-19 world, this project looks to Turf City, a site known for its lush green character and unique historical charm. By transforming the existing pair of grandstand buildings into a mixed-use, indoor urban farming facility, the vision of Turf City is expanded beyond the adaptive reuse of the two buildings and into the master planning of the site.

In the project’s master plan, Turf City Heart; Turf City Hub, the oval footprint of the old racecourse is reimagined and revitalised as a new, highly charged area of confluence. With the addition of an elevated walkway, new modes of accessing and experiencing Turf City is created, while historical spectatorship experiences are redefined.

Therefore, with the reactivation of a historical oval heart into a future community-commercial hub, activity and vibrancy is injected into Turf City, all while preserving the site’s natural green character.

Project by Ng Wen Qi


01 - Turf City Heart, Turf City Hub: an Aerial Night View 02 - Urban Planning Concept: Landuse plan (left), Concept Diagram (top right), Exploded Axonometric (bottom right) 03 - Isonometric drawing of site: Key routes of access, The reimagined race course as a hub of confluence, Creating a continuous green belt, & Preservation of key historical buildings 04 - 2nd Storey Precinct Plan: Elevated retail street facing the reimagined oval hub, arrows denoting main axes of access from Sixth Avenue MRT and visitors’ carpark 05 - Detail axonometric of façade elements (top), Short sectional perspective (bottom) 06 - Closeup isonometric of the grandstand (top), Front elevation of the grandstand (bottom)


During these difficult times battling the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves in fragile economies where our supply chains are vulnerable, heavily affecting our existing way of life.

Polypóli explores the possibilities of decentralization on an urban scale in creating resilient self-sustaining clusters. Historical and natural elements on the existing turf city site are first identified to act as key nodes, roots from which organic clusters stem. These uniquely characterized precincts evolve with the programmes they take on, incorporating the holistic components of live, work, play and learn. The urban infrastructure respects the existing terrain, providing walkable green public spaces which weave the clusters together.

Because of their strong historical ties, Turf City’s existing grandstands and carpark act as the landmark of the AgriTech cluster in Polypóli. This new green programme redefines the precinct, providing new experiences by way of retail streets, kindergartens, urban farming facilities and galleries. This revitalization of programming is paired with a new architectural language which permeates the precinct, tying together past and present.

Project by Teo Shao Tian


01 - The Grandstand: Revitalised Historical Landmark of AgriTech Cluster in Polypóli 02 - Urban Planning Concept: Landuse plan (left), Concept Diagram (Top Right), Exploded Axonometric (Bottom Right) 03 - Concept Diagram (Top Left), Isometric drawing of site: Key access to Polypóli from Dunearn Road to main boulevard and central loop system (bottom) 04 - 3rd Storey Precinct Plan: Revitalized terraced carpark deck with kindergartens, outdoor farms, drone office and upper level connections to The Grandstand 05 - Perspective of urban farming level in North Grandstand (Top), Carpark elevation of the Grandstand (Bottom) 06 - Structural analysis and façade design of Grandstands (Top Right), Short sectional perspective of North Grandstand (Bottom)

Green Gateway @ Turf City

COVID-19 pandemic brings out the aim of having 30% local food supply by 2030 in Singapore, a country which is currently highly reliant on exports for food. The project aims to provide a new direction for local community model with strong emphasis on preserving the community spirit and efficient urban farming programmes.

Green Gateway @Turf City preserves the natural character and expand the oval further to currently saddle club area which forms a new central park within the turf city. This hidden green central park goes over the PIE and forms a green connection from the future Bukit Timah Trail to the central water catchment area. This central park serves as a green gateway with work live and play functions inside. All the paths and roads will converge at the new grandstand and saddle club area (pedestrian paths only) and forming the gateways within the park. The central park will be surrounded by a ‘community-farm’ belt which promotes initiatives like urban farming and autonomous delivery system. This farm belt will also connect to the efficient farming centre(grandstand).

Land use planning is designed to be a ‘C-shape’ with two sub-centres locate within the residential zones. These sub-centres will be a community centre based inside an existing building or a public park. All historical building will be conserved in this new planning. Existing building locates within the central park will be converted into the community farming centres to promote urban farming technics; the rest will be used as their original functions.

Project by Zhu Wentao


01 - Green Gateway @ Turf City: Perspective - Grandstand Roof Terrace 02 - Urban planning concept: Landuse plan (left), Planning Concepts(Mid), Exploded axonometric (right) 03 - Isometric drawing of site: Access from Bukit Timah Rocher Green Trail to the new central park, and extended it across PIE to the central water catchment & Key features 04 - 2nd Storey Precinct Plan 05 - Building Concept Diagrams (top left), Perspectives under the new roof structure(top right), Building Section (bottom) 06 - Building Elevation(bottom) & Perspectives from the roof farm(top)

Patchwork City

Food security is a perennial concern in land-scarce Singapore. In recent years, efforts to boost local food production through innovation have been intensified. With the pandemic, the practice of importing food has become even more volatile. This project thus explores the prospect of injecting food production spaces in the Bukit Timah area.

Patchwork City is built upon the idea of having a strong green edge to maintain the rustic charm of Turf City. Pockets of green spaces between low-rise residential developments serve to enhance the site’s strong attachment to nature.

The patchwork pattern is derived from the North-South bearings, to allow for optimal orientation of residential buildings, as well as the existing natural and built attributes. This includes the topography, drainage, and road systems.

Weaving through the patchwork is an urban connector that ties historical pieces together. These old buildings are readapted for various commercial, educational, and institutional use. This includes The Grandstand, which is repurposed into an urban food production hub, adopting various indoor and outdoor growing methods to provide fresh produce.

Project by Afiffah Ab Ghapar


01 - The Grandstand - Patchwork City’s Urban Food Production Hub 02 - Urban Planning Concept: Landuse plan (left), Explode Axonometric (Top Right), Concept Diagram (Bottom Right) 03 - Isometric drawing of site: Key access from Dunearn Road & Eng Neo Avenue 04 - 2nd Storey Precinct Plan 05 - Perspective View of F&B Street at Level 1 (top), Front Elevation of The Grandstand (bottom) 06 - Short section of The North Grandstand

Turf City Green Enclave

COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the need to be self-sufficient, especially in Singapore, a country highly reliant on exports for food. The project aims to provide grounds for local agricultural production while resolving the dichotomy that exists between the nature of historical buildings and the introduction of new and efficient programmes.

Turf City Green Enclave preserves the natural character of Turf City and supplies a variety of fresh produce for residents within the site through a series of extensions that strings the existing elements found on site. The first connection is the linear belt that ties the existing elements together. It functions as a productive strip consisting of clusters for production, recreational, educational activities. A subsequent connection is a new center that encapsulates living quarters and the productive strip, engaging residents and adding life to the productive strip. A final connection is created by extending bands from the carpark to the central oval.

Activation of the linear strip represents the growth of Turf City through a series of green activities. The new functional programmes inform architectural resilience and food sustainability, equally translated in its façade treatment, a bold proposal using careful insertion of cultivation pods into a historical building combined with efficient programmes. As one transvers through the safeguarded elements, the process of discovering a series of green enclaves nestled within the productive strip unfolds, creating a new resident, visitor and staff experience in Turf City.

Project by Mavis Lee


01 - Turf City Green Enclave: Aerial view 02 - Urban planning concept: Landuse plan (left), Urban diagram (top right), Exploded axonometric (bottom right) 03 - Urban diagram (top), Aerial isometric of site: Access from Bukit Timah Rocher Green Trail to the highly charged linear strip, 4 key notable zones – production, recreational, education and sports (bottom) 04 - 2nd Storey Precinct Plan: Series of bands extended from visitors’ carpark to the grandstand and towards the oval, dotted lines denoting main axes of access from Sixth Avenue MRT and new lift lobby 05 - Detail isometric of rotary hydroponics and façade strategy (top), Short section (bottom) 06 - Perspective from linear band to North grandstand (top), Long section (bottom)

Green Village

Our living environment is vulnerable to the unexpected situations such as the recent pandemic situation. With COVID-19, the urgency of Singapore’s food security has impacted the way we live and work, allowing us to rethink the way we design our future city.

Surrounded by the abundance lush of greenery at turf city, the proposal took a close look at the “garden city” proposal by Ebenezer Howard, adopting its key ideas into designing the new turf city, a social and communal green heart at the Bukit Timah District.

The series of concentrate circle -“functional green belt” in the “garden city” proposal is transformed and adopted to the new turf city plan: preserving the historical central park in the heart of turf city, creating a new way of urban life in the middle ring and preventing the site from the hectic life outside through the green buffer at the outer ring.

The new work-play belt located within the middle ring emphasizes on a variety of commercial and communal activities within the loop. This megastructure is a building complex covered by a continuous green roof, connected to the ground at different contour levels, creating a new layer of urban life at the turf city.

Project by Li Jiayi


01 - Green Village: Perspective from the oval 02 - Urban Planning Concept: Landuse plan (left), Concept Diagram (Top Right), Exploded Axonometric (Bottom Right) 03 - Isonometric drawing of site: Key access from Dunearn Road into the new work-play green belt, connecting to the rest of turf city 04 - 2nd Storey Precinct Plan: Elevated urban deck connecting the retail floor of the complex with the grandstand, and the second level of car park 05 - Short section 06 - Perspective into the urban deck (top), Elevation of the grandstand (bottom)

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