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S333 among Singapore business district contest winners

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A team featuring London-based S333 has won an international competition to masterplan Singapore’s second central business district (CBD)

The London practice – working with Dutch firm KCAP Architects & Planners, SAA Architects, Arup, and Lekker – was chosen over rival bids featuring Allies and Morrison and Grimshaw to transform city’s 112 hectare Jurong Lakeside Gateway site.

A total of 35 multi-disciplinary teams applied to participate in the prestigious competition organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore.

According a URA statement: ‘The proposal from the team led by KCAP best met the expectations and requirements of the request for proposals. At the heart of the proposal is its sensitive focus on water and greenery, which incorporates new waterways and a series of green spaces and connections that weave through the entire district to create a strong, distinctive identity.

‘Evaluation panel members were similarly impressed with the proposed urban typology that integrates with the green setting beside Jurong Lake, which at the same time places emphasis on creating active, walkable streets and interactive public spaces.’

The project will create between 4 and 5 million square metres of development surrounding a new terminus for the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail link.

Jurong Gateway – located immediately north of the contest site – has been a major commercial and recreational ‘growth zone’ for the city since 2008.

Planned to complete in 2022, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail link will reduce journey times between the two cities – currently three hours by air or seven hours by train – to just 99 minutes.

The proposed CBD and rail terminus will occupy the site of an existing country club and golf course overlooking Jurong Lake and south of the Jurong Gateway area.

The development is expected to feature offices, retail, entertainment facilities, new public spaces, hotels and waterfront homes.

Finalists had three months at the end of last year to draw up their conceptual masterplans for the site. Strategies to integrate the development with the nearby Jurong Gateway, Lakeside, Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens areas were also required.

The shortlisted teams were also asked to identity possible new uses for the historic Jurong Town Hall and Science Centre buildings which also currently occupy parts of the site. Concepts which include innovative district cooling and pneumatic waste conveyance systems were furthermore encouraged.

Judges included University of Pennsylvania architecture professor Marilyn Jordan Taylor and Safdie Architects founder Moshe Safdie.

The winning team will now work with the URA to draw up a detailed masterplan which will be exhibited for public consultation later this year.

The full shortlist

  • Allies and Morrison, Architects 61, Arup, Atelier Ten, Grant Associates
  • Grimshaw Architects, DP Architects, Arup, Gustafson Porter, Netatech, GreenhilLi
  • KCAP Architects & Planners, SAA Architects, Arup, S333, Lekker
  • Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Arup, Tierra Design, Ohtori Consultants, Studio Lapis, teamLab, Nipek, Yashima Design, KPMG, Langdon & Seah
  • Nikken Sekkei, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Arup, DHI
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