Inexistence of Imperfection: The Natural Ruins of Woodneuk
by Cheryl CHAN
This thesis presents a critique on the inexistence of imperfection of the Singapore landscape, in relation to processes, like conservation, restoration, and development, where architecture with a lifespan is unacknowledged and dismissed.
Private domestic ruins are temporary phenomena that escape this rejection of imperfection and are constantly in limbo. They are a physical manifestation of living, growing, dying architecture. The ruins of Istana Woodneuk exist in the heart of Singapore, protected in a blind spot. Has Woodneuk’s disappearance allowed it to fully ‘live’ within this local narrative?
The thesis is thus positioned alongside the speculative transformation of Singapore’s ruin-scape to the ruins of Woodneuk across time. It aims to establish an interdisciplinary study of the built environment to the tropical landscape. It consists of a specific intervention on the ruins of Woodneuk, and to have it as part of a larger design collective on the entire landscape, to situate Woodneuk amongst the broader issue of timelessness.
It hopes to project an alternate imagination of architecture being acknowledged and respected as a growing entirety of form, landscape, and stories, as a result of the many lives it led across time, and the many more it will have.