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by TEN Xiang Ling Shaunice
In the physical systems of territorial expansion in Singapore, land is seen as a geo-morphic entity that is endlessly shaped to achieve our nationalistic vision – essentially one that always pursues the bigger, greater and better. In the face of land scarcity, the government’s pursuit of more land has become a norm. Land has been reclaimed, com-moditised, engineered and manipulated to feed a value system where land is productive for skyscrapers and seas for entrepot trade – a system which results in waste, pollution and a de-valued ecology. As such, Singapore has now become an island that has lost its islandness.
In contrast to this self-centered value of land, this thesis projects Singapore as an altru-istic nation which will begin to aid in the restoration of ecology by reducing pollution and re-valuing nature.
The thesis reimagines a restored archipelago where lands and waters are clean and pro-ductive in a new value system that shifts away from current systems of cities and trade. It will seek to demonstrate the other valuations of land through an enduring fabrication of new lands which will grow and evolve into a sanctuary for nature and individuals seeking refuge from mainland. The islands will eventually evolve into a marine research and nature park which encapsulates a rich biodiversity, and have interim programmes such as communal farming, aquaculture, and low cost temporary housing for transiting immigrants and marine researchers - a land use which speaks of a different kind of productivity, economy and value – one that is perhaps more rehabilitative and remedial.
This project looks to land as a system that begins to blur the boundaries between archi-tecture and geography. Land sustains the living, it becomes the life.
Jacques Rougerie Foundation-Institut de France
and the 2016 International Competition in Architecture 'Innovations and Architecture of the Sea'
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