by TAN Su-Lin Denise
The thesis critiques the method of land renewal and upgrading carried out by the HDB, in which residents are evicted and moved so that land can be erased and intensified again. HDB calls this method the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).
Within the context of the chosen site, Redhill Close, SERS results in a few questionable outcomes, 1) heritage is lost, 2) community ties are lost and 3) the residents' voice are suppressed. Can the renewal of the estate come from incremental means instead of an attempted tabula rasa? Can the estate become valuable and sustainable in lieu of monetary means and enhance its reasons for standing? Can the community be rallied and strengthened to prevent demolition of their estate?
The thesis then proposes a situation where different stakeholders around the estate come together to feed off from the estate and let the estate feed off from their activities. NGOs carry out their activities in the estate while schools are roped in to provide extra manpower for voluntary work. The estate then becomes a dispatch to care giving for elderly around Bt Merah, being valuable in itself. These activities in turn creates secondary commercial activities that allow estate residents to partake in allowing them to form attachments to the estate.
The masterplan is manifested as a spine through the estate and secondary ribs spreading out from the estate, collecting people and dispersing them within the community activities, linking the immediate context together. The architecture is a series of three nodes which are clusters of programs, which are organized within the masterplan. In order to respect the human and intimate scale of the estate and to create intimate spaces for community to gather, the scale in relation to the residential blocks is explored, carried on through materiality, structure and paving. Circulation and visual and sensorial linkages between different stakeholders on the site are also designed to integrate these different demographies to enmesh them together within the site.
Ultimately, come 2017, it is proposed that the estate incurs so much life and value to the different stakeholders that it can resist demolition.