Weaving Hope and Healing into Lives

by SAA

^ St Joseph’s Home - A Community that Restores, Photo by Aaron Pocock

A showcase of three projects that are inspired deeply by the community they serve. Designing for dignity and with care, SAA crafts meaningful spaces that hope to heal people and knit lives together.

St. Joseph's Home - Designing for Dignity

Built around a central community garden, the Home allows residents and their families, staff and the wider general community to meet and enjoy nature together on the ground floor. The existing red-brick Chapel serves as a spiritual and physical heart of the home for its community.

Bright, greenery-lined corridors provide residents with limited mobility access to the "ground floor on every floor". Communal nodes with active or passive spaces function as home-like spaces for family visits, and volunteer-run programmes, training and education activities.

The cluster-concept of “families” – smaller groupings of residents – allow multi-disciplinary clinical teams to provide more focused and authentic care. Naturally cross-ventilated bedrooms house smaller clusters of beds with varying setbacks and room openings. The intimate alcoves carve out private spaces between rooms for both residents and staff.

STJH is Singapore’s first to integrate an intergenerational care model that features an intergenerational playground, and infant and childcare centre within a nursing home. These spaces promote opportunities for residents and children to interact. Through this tightly-knit community, children develop compassion and empathy, while residents’ emotional wellness is strengthened.

The Peace Room – a holding room for residents who have passed on – is sensitively located at the home’s forecourt. A respectful gesture allowing residents to leave via the front of house, in the same way they entered.

In designing for dignity, STJH provides person-centred spaces that empower its users, values the dignity of every person, and creates a place that is a nexus for the whole community.


01 - St. Joseph’s Home offers nursing and hospice services for the elderly, regardless of race or religion. Set up and operated by the Catholic Welfare Services since 1978, SAA had the privilege to transform the single-storey 139-bed facility into a 6-storey integrated 412-bed nursing home in 2018 02 - The Chapel (and surrounding courtyard) is the spiritual and physical beacon for the whole development. Radiating outwards, symbolically and functionally, it creates distinct sight-lines, permeating the new home block with communal gardens on every floor 03 - The concept of a “ground floor on every floor” weaves varying green pockets amidst the corridor circulation route and provides a meandering landscape for all residents to enjoy 04 - Promoting sociability – the intergenerational playground where elderly residents and children from the childcare centre can play together and bring joy to each other

Northpoint City - Drawing Community In

NPC is a transit-oriented development comprising 12 residential blocks sited on a 3-storey podium block consisting retail, a community club, town plaza, and a bus interchange. It also comprises 2 basements of retail and carparks, and an underground pedestrian link to Yishun MRT station.

NPC has come to be the vibrant nexus of various community activities within Yishun Town. Its central circulation spine enhances connectivity and accessibility of the existing neighbourhood businesses to bus and train transit nodes. This increased the commercial value and attractiveness of the mature estate’s retail, enabling them to flourish.

The existing connection to the MRT was strengthened by introducing a circulation loop through a second underground public linkway at the South Wing. This increased pedestrian connectivity and proximity between NPC and Yishun MRT station. The courtyard community space offers unobstructed sightlines to shops in both the North and South Wing.

The ‘Green Necklace’, a loop created with interconnected pockets of nature and greenery-lined pathways, restores the greenery lost to construction. This loop links up the mall, bus interchange, and community spaces of the town square, plaza and garden – extending connectivity to the residential blocks above and the wider Yishun community.

NPC is the first-ever mall in Singapore to integrate a community club (Nee Soon Central Community Club) within its premises. The CC and adjacent town plaza form a vibrant social anchor for community activities. Weaving heritage, social activities, and nature together, the NPC development contributes to vibrant public life.


01 - Northpoint City is a vibrant nexus of residential, retail, and various community activities. It is an iconic transport-oriented development, and an integral landmark serving the diverse needs of the Yishun Town community 02 - Sectional perspective showing the complex and unique integration of the development’s retail and residential components, as well as connectivity to the train station and bus interchange 03 - The ‘Green Necklace’ consists of interconnected pockets of nature and greenery-lined pathways. This loop imbues a sense of movement and continuity – and weaves vibrant community spaces throughout the entire development 04 - Lush landscaping and quiet alcoves along the development’s perimeter provide visual relief and environmental comfort for people to linger 05 - View across the town plaza towards Nee Soon Central Community Club

Woodlands Health Campus

Inspired by the concept of a nature-infused healing environment where the hospital is nestled within, the upcoming Woodlands Health Campus (WHC) brings people, nature and healing together.

Landscape is woven – horizontally and vertically – throughout the development, serving healing and therapeutic purposes for patients, staff, and the wider community.

“Woodlands Healing Garden" designed by NParks is a focal community space that recalls the site’s existing open green space and draws it deeper into the heart of the healthcare campus. Zoned into Contemplative and Interactive landscapes, the first provides a serene meditative environment for leisure walking, while the latter facilitates social interactions through activity lawns, community gardens, and play areas. Thematic gardens create an array of restorative experiences for mental, emotional and physical healing

The "Therapeutic Gardens" features specially-curated landscaping that aims to help patients' rehabilitation and recovery. These lushly landscaped spaces extend into the hospital ground in a seamless manner. To achieve this, all vehicular traffic is routed to the basement level, keeping the ground level free for pedestrians-only in an “open campus” design.

Greenery on the facade and terraces interspersed at various levels of the wards, provides non-ambulant patients access to heal with nature.

WHC comprises a fully integrated acute and community hospital, specialist outpatient clinics, and intermediate and long-term care (LTC) facilities . Patients and residents alike can enjoy the public and green spaces for healing and recreation.

The LTC facility is co-located childcare centre within the campus. This care philosophy promotes residents’ dignity, independence, and relational needs with family and community.

(Note: These artist impressions and computer generated images (3D) are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to changes at the time of completion.)


01 - Aerial view of the Woodlands Health Campus which is located across the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The nature-infused healing environment of the campus draws upon its context 02 - Approaching from the - centre of the campus, the lush Terrace Garden draws one into the Healing Garden 03 - At the rooftop terrace above the childcare centre, an intergenerational horticulture garden promotes activities and interaction with the elderly

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