Urban Injections

by NUS Architecture

“Urban Injections” features five small urban design interventions proposed by Year 3 students during the course Introduction to Urbanism (AY2018/19 and AY2019/20), taught by Assistant Professor Dr Zdravko Trivic, at the Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore. Selected prototypes depict the role of urban design in addressing diverse urban conditions in local Singaporean neighbourhoods, such as activating underutilised spaces, re-using the existing resources, turning obstacles into opportunities and providing safe and healthful environments for community building. The projects cater to and aim at empowering diverse local communities, from general public and senior residents to office and construction workers and trishaw uncles.


Situated at the fence surrounding St Joseph’s Church under renovation, this prototype aims at converting the edge of a construction site into an accessible and safe social space. Inspired by Nan Ellin’s Integral Urbanism (2006), it integrates the ideas of hybridity, connectivity, porosity, authenticity and vulnerability to create a symbiotic relationship between the temporarily inaccessible site and its physical and social context.

The design makes use of common materials found at the construction site - scaffolding steel tubes, timber battens and vinyl sheets - to create an active edge that addresses the needs for the construction workers’ meeting space, equipment storage and resting area. Without compromising safety, the public would be able to observe the construction process as well as socialise with construction workers during their breaks.

To ease the building process, the prototype consists of different modules, whereby the wooden pallets form the base of each module. The design has a total of 5 module variations, where multiple modules are assembled together to form the entire prototype. As such, the prototype can be easily expanded, dismantled and rebuilt, creating various permutations that can suit any construction site. The amount of public space decreases over the period of construction, as more and more modules are dis¬assembled and used in the construction. By the end of the construction, all these little pockets of public spaces around the site would have disappeared and the site will be accessible once again - but this time, with a brand new look.

Project by Timothy Tay Zhi Wei & Loo Quan Le


01 - The perpetual construction site 02 - Searching for the right public- private interface 03 - Construction site materials as public resource 04 - Managing the interface 05 - Flexible and mobile public construction ground


Places are constantly changing over time and such changes have a bearing on how the site is perceived and used. An in-depth understanding of the site's evolution was crucial in informing our urban intervention at the intersection of Waterloo St and Albert St, a space in front of the Albert food centre, which is currently designated as a parking space for trishaws. The space is dominated by the presence of trishaws and yellow Newmoon umbrellas. These two items were the iconic mobilisers of our entrepreneurial, middle class society in the mid-20th century. Such a labour-intensive mode of transport eventually faded out of importance with the introduction of the motorised public transport system in the 1980s. At present, these trishaws are merely preserved to provide tourists a scenic tour of our heritage districts and no longer serve the original purpose. On the other hand, the umbrellas have managed to adapt to the needs of its users. While its function has not changed much over the years, it has evolved to become a key element in denoting pockets of socialising spaces along an uncharted streetscape, while beautifying and enlivening the space. These two elements are essential to our urban intervention, as we seek to capitalise on the strengths and diversification possibilities of these structures. While still respecting their original structure and identity, our prototype non-intrusively modifies the trishaw and umbrella configurations to create new spaces and instigate new uses, such as more intimate eating and socialising spaces, food stalls and sheltered plaza.

Project by by Goh Qian Wei, Sherry, Henriksson Linn Anna & Vivienne Kang Min


01- Tri-juncture | Krah Chia Lor 02 - Change of trishaws over time 03 - Re-combining trishaw parts- exploring opportunities 04 - Spatial and functional synergies 05 - Trishaws' New Life


‘The Red Shelter’ in Telok Blangah Heights integrates the idea of awareness and community into the existing fire engine access point with the element of fun and fitness as a form of bridging. The prototype advocates the importance of fire safety and firefighting instructions and aims to enhance the perception of and response to the emergency in times of crisis. It is common for people to have the tendency to avoid spaces that are marked as an emergency zone, even if it is an inviting open ground. However, it is exactly when there is an emergency situation, that people should come together to form an undivided spirit against the odds. More than a typical pavilion that provides seating areas with shade, through everyday activities, ‘The Red Shelter’ focuses on the educational aspect of the importance of fire safety and prevention, by bringing transparency to the safety equipment through infographic explanation and insertion of interactive fixtures which are inspired by firefighting training. The fun elements, such as ladders, nets, and rope swing, promote the importance of upkeeping individual healthy lifestyle through fitness. The idea of having a multipurpose space, which allows the community to come together regardless of safe or emergency times, softens the notion between the ‘restricted’ and ‘public’ area. ‘The Red Shelter’ acts as a bridge between various mental and physical thresholds. It aims to forge a sense of identity and pride within the community and prompts residents to take up ownership in shaping a more closed-knitted neighbourhood.

Project by by Lai Wei Song & Lee Hong Xuan


01 - The Red Shelter 02 - Towards flexibility and adaptability 03 - From leisure to emergency: The Flow 04 - From leisure to emergency: Transformation 05 - All as One: Building resilient community


As Singapore moves towards an ageing population, efforts have been put in place to address this condition. Initiatives, such as the Silver Zone, Active Ageing Hubs and Merdeka Generation Package, among others, have been implemented throughout the island. These steps ensure that the ageing population remains healthy and cared for. Spaces such as an active ageing hub run by the Active Global Home and Community Care Center have recently been built in Telok Blangah. They cater to both the active and the frail, featuring services such as senior daycare, dementia daycare, nursing services, rehabilitation gym and a game room. The aim of the ‘Silver Pods’ is to provide the elderlies with an alternative social gathering space at their doorstep, while at the same time promoting an active ageing lifestyle. Four different typologies have been created to accommodate to the different needs of the elderly communities in the HDB block – Mind Pod, Body Pod, Soul Pod and Gardening Pod. These typologies are formed according to the daily needs of an elderly to remain active and promote social interaction and support. Four pods are made modular for easy construction and installation within the existing HDB blocks. They activate currently under-utilised staircase to connect the senior residents together. Located on intermediate staircase landing spaces, pods also encourage the elderlies to utilise the staircase as a form of active lifestyle.

Project by Rifqi Ashraf Bin Rosali & Muhammad Syukri Bin Matsun


01 - Sliver pods 02 - Preliminary Design Concept: Gardening / Active / Entertainment 03 - Preliminary Design Concept: Gardening / Active / Entertainment 04 - Final design -Sliver Pods 05 - Final design - Mind-Body-Soul Garden Pods


‘HIDEOUT’ is an urban intervention situated in the back alley of Alexandra Techno-Park and sandwiched between Alexandra Technology Tower A and Hort Park. The prototype is a response to duality between the office space and its supporting elements (maintenance crew spaces) and aims at creating spaces that can facilitate cross socio-economic activities and suggest an alternative working environment for the custodians in the cleaning and maintenance sector. Inspiration for the design came from the observed phenomenon on site, whereby a space underneath the staircase of the electrical substation has been occupied by the maintenance workers and transformed into an informal resting area through an act of personalisation, including temporary storage of cleaning equipment and unwanted office items, such as old office chairs and cardboard boxes. The prototype acknowledges the existing flow of the site in regard to the typical daily circulation of both office workers and maintenance workers. It also recognises time as an important factor. Such dynamics are enhanced by the reintroduction of the staircase structure to physically connect the back alley of the office to Hort Park. The architectural language of the design made use of the programmes at the top of the staircase to inform the spatial and temporal sequence of the spaces to be inhabited by the two user groups simultaneously, without compromising the comfort and privacy.

Project by by Tan Hong Xi, Clarence & Goh Kar Hui


01 - Hideout 02 - Analysis: Scenario making 03 - Analysis: Informal Spaces 04 - Analysis: Activity Rhythms of office and maintenance workers 05 - Initial design translation

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