Sparkletots large preschool at Punggol
The school reinvents the notion of a conventional childcare centre in Singapore by providing safety, security and inclusiveness through the inventive use of a circular architectural form.
All its 36 toddler and nursery classrooms, housing potentially 1,000 students, line the outer perimeter of the building. This frees up its centre - sheltered by a lightweight stretched membrane - for activities.
An oculus roof brings in light and promotes airflow and cross ventilation, creating a cheerful space for play and striking up friendships.
Architects Ho Tzu Yin and Matthew Yeo from Laud Architects overcame a tight construction timeframe by using prefabricated elements and modular classroom designs. "Designing for children lets us become children again, to see the world from their point of view and be inspired by our own childhood experiences," says Mr Ho.
"Interestingly, the school principal has observed her students becoming happier, friendlier and more communicative towards visitors as compared with those in other centres."
This is a tropical urban village for seniors that harks back to "kampung" days, when the community bonded together over shared outdoor experiences.
Designed by Woha Architects' Wong Mun Summ and Pearl Chee, Kampung Admiralty is an 11-storey development which houses 104 flats for the elderly, a medical centre, a senior care centre, a childcare centre and a 900-seat hawker centre.
It is also a prototype that explores how communities will live together in the future and how to age in place in a life-affirming way. The development features senior-friendly residential units, retail, a sheltered public plaza and an urban farm.
It provides the daily necessities for all, regardless of age, as it is not designed solely for seniors.
"This makes it possible to draw people of all ages from the entire neighbourhood to create a vibrant space that allows inter-generational bonds to form," says Ms Chee, director at Woha Architects.
The (Not-So) Convenience Store
Do not be fooled by its fluorescent-lit interiors, catchy jingle and upbeat corporate stripes.
"We like to say The (Not-So) Convenience Store is probably the world's first convenience store to promote inconvenience," says lead designer Astri Nursalim of Kinetic Singapore.
When tasked by Temasek Shophouse to come up with an exhibition to reduce waste and improve sustainability, the team from Kinetic opted for a fresh approach to exhibition design, mindful that most people in Singapore were quite tired of national campaigns.
"Recognising that the culture of convenience - single-use packaging and disposables - is a big contributor to waste, we thought: What better way to highlight this than to appropriate and subvert the very embodiment of convenience itself? And thus The (Not-So) Convenience Store was born," says Ms Astri.
At the store, price tags display the price of convenience paid by the environment; a cashier dispenses "notes" on living more sustainably; and a freezer is repurposed as a recycling bin.
The project was singled out for its public reach and how it helps raise awareness about sustainability in a fun and engaging manner.
This educational platform is created by Singapore-based designers Steve Lawler and Tanya Wilson, who helm EyeYah!.
Targeted at young children, it uses various multimedia options ranging from magazines to an iPad app to interactive augmented- reality (AR) experiences.
It was conceived in the category of visual and digital communications and UX/UI (user experience and user interface) design that uses engaging learning materials and events to help children understand the world around them.
The content is researched in consultation with experts, educators and parents.
EyeYah! is used in various educational set-ups around the world. Numerous schools in Singapore, Britain and the United States include it as part of their teaching toolkit.
This article was originally published in The Straits Times.