Lichen | Singapore, Republic of Singapore |2015
Architects: Park + Associates Pte Ltd.
Client: Singapore Island Country Club
Reconceptualising the Clubhouse Typology Architecturally, one recalls the conventional clubhouse typology as a single, large mass that exudes a harsh sense of formality, reaffirming the longstanding notion of a clubhouse as a place of elite belonging and exclusivity.
The redevelopment of the Country Club at its Bukit location is an opportunity for us to critically examine and challenge that notion as a response to the recent transformation and future growth into a socially inclusive and relatable to a new Singapore society.
In deconstructing the traditional clubhouse typology, our proposal comprises of a loose distribution of six smaller grain pavilions, or pods. The result is an increase of visual and physical permeability through the site and through each pod, avoiding an excessively dominating mass in the landscape that the brief might otherwise generate.
The organic master planning of our proposal creates a diverse spatial experience, providing members with a place that feels like a retreat away from the dense urbanscape of Singapore.
Site Response Lichen, as the name suggests, evokes the imagery of an expansive landscape and lush greenery that one might expect to find at the Country Club at Bukit, located on a five-acre land on the fringes of MacRitchie Reservoir.
This proposal for the new Country Club takes cue from its namesake, lichens, unique and complex organisms where individually independent elements combine to exist, grow, and flourish harmoniously in a symbiotic relationship. Lichens are ubiquitous in nature - barely noticeable in our daily lives but their existence contributes to our overall aesthetic and understanding of natural beauty and landscape.
The architects sought to establish a similarly interdependent yet subtle relationship between landscape and human intervention. Our proposal explores the optimum way in which these two contrasting elements can exist and complement one another, especially in such a sensitive site.
Furthermore, like lichens, our proposal has the capacity to evolve in parallel to future changes in user requirement and desires, ensuring optimal functionality and relevancy over the years to come.
Engaging Natural Surroundings From the macro to the micro, visually and physically, our proposal engages with the natural surroundings to create a heightened environmental experience and awareness.
At a macro scale, the masterplan negotiates between the natural topography and the built form by proposing a series of low‐lying, undulating landscape of building blocks that are closer to the human scale, nestled within the landscape.
Rigidity in planning is broken down by taking a more organic approach that encourages a fluid movement into, and through the site.
The siting of the pods is largely dictated by the existing trees that exceed a certain girth, which we propose to retain in the redevelopment.
Sight lines are curated within the site and within each block to take advantage of borrowed surrounding views, creating additional visual and experiential intrigue.
The first and foremost intention to have the Country Club to sit harmoniously within its immediate context, like a series of cabins in the woods.
At a micro level, green pockets puncture the perimeter of each pod to ensure constant visual connection with the outdoors and greenery. Large areas of glazing along selected facades provide an abundance of filtered natural lighting into the spaces within. Linkages & Spatial Flexibility.
The siting of the six pods generates a series of break-out spaces and linkages that create opportunity for informal social exchanges.
Often considered secondary spaces, we consider these to be as important and thus should be as connected as the primary spaces.
The architects envision these to be utilised in distinct ways across the diverse demographics, encouraging the fostering of a community.
A main, sheltered walkway connects the six pods and reinforces the relationship between each.
The naturally ventilated walkway is an atrium-like space, functioning both as a spill-over space from the connecting blocks, as well as standalone as an event deck suitable for a myriad of activities and festivities.
‘Secondary’ spaces such as these, we feel, enrich the experience of members in the club, creating a stronger bond between architecture and its physical and sociological contexts. Conclusion
Ther proposal is a critical examination into a symbiotic and synergistic relationship between the existing landscape and human intervention.
Taking cue from nature, the master planning ensures operational sustainability by making provision for change and growth over time. It is also our aim to maximise the involvement and interaction of the surrounding nature and greenery in the built form.
The threshold between inside and outside, and nature and man‐made are interwoven.
Through the process of reconceptualising the conventional clubhouse typology, we conceived a clubhouse comprising of a series of smaller, interdependent building blocks that are strategically sited in the natural topography to form a unified community, where the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.