by LYE Si Wei Isabel
Situated against the commodified and artificial landscapes of Sentosa, this thesis explores architecture as a form of territorial device that both protects and engages with its surrounding landscape.
Sentosa as we all know, is the tourist Mecca of Southeast Asia, a place of idyllic retreat that promises relaxation and escape. Yet, these constructed landscapes to create an ‘island paradise’ come at a high cost. Much of the original ecology of the island was cleared for development insofar that Sentosa is known as an artifically kitsch island mainly for tourist consumption. But a closer look will resurface the marginal sites of Sentosa that are in fact the rare, natural and largely untouched landscapes of the island. Whereas the rest of the island has become kitsch and culturally meaningless, the ecology of these sites stand as the only remainder of the island’s original landscapes. The physically decaying structures that stand on its ruined sites also offer a glimpse into the island’s mysterious past.
This thesis investigates the Tanjong Rimau coast, Mount. Serapong and Berhala Reping as sites that remain largely untouched by redevelopment. Positioned alongside these marginal sites, it aims to surface the value of these rare and untouched landscapes. Through a series of landscape infrastructure which regenerates the natural ecology unique to each of these 3 indentified sites, it aims to create a barrier that not only protects the original landscape but also engages with it. Ultimately, this landscape infrastsructure is envisioned to be assimilated into the natural landscape over time by spawning the growth of the natural ecology of these sites. Amidst the hedonistic Sentosa, these interventions therefore take on a sense of duality to be both performative and regenerative.