Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Kallang River Bishan Park in Singapore by Atelier Dreiseitl
November 14th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Atelier Dreiseitl
Transformation of concrete canal into naturalised river wows judges
Kallang River Bishan Park, Singapore, designed by Atelier Dreiseitl, has won the ‘Landscape of the Year’ Award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2012.
The judging of the WAF Awards is taking place during the largest global celebration of architecture – the World Architecture Festival, which is being held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore this week.
The Kallang River Bishan Park project was designed with a holistic and sustainable approach to integrate the park with the river. One of the main features of the redevelopment is the restoration of the concrete canal to a naturalised river. It features bio-engineered river edges using a variety of plants and bedding materials. This project is the first of its kind in Singapore, and the integration of the river with the park aims to make the waterway more accessible to the public while creating more spaces for the public to enjoy. The design employs a flood plain concept whereby during dry weather, the river flow will be confined to a narrow stream in the middle of the river bed. In the event of a storm, the water level in the river will rise and the area adjacent to the river will be used as a flood plain to contain the rainwater.
The landscape project was selected by a jury of some of the world’s most dynamic architectural and urban designers, Ken Tadashi Oshima, Michael Volk and Isay Weinfeld. It overcame competition from a shortlist of 9 entries.
The jury commended it, saying, “This remarkable project fundamentally transforms the urban landscape of Singapore by reversing the fundamentals of 1960s thinking on drainage canals into an ecological and people-friendly urban sponge. It powerfully embraces the extremes of flooding disasters, while providing a rustic and poetic simplicity with its landscape strategy for the public. Its large scale with subtle local effects also showcases truly sustainable strategies.
Speaking at the WAF Awards 2012 Paul Finch, WAF Programme Director, said: “‘The WAF Awards programme is the centrepiece of a festival which has strengthened considerably over the last five years as a truly global event. We were not only impressed by high levels of flair, creativity and innovation in the entries, but also encouraged that our new venue in Singapore has led to an increase in Asian and Oceanic entries. The architects presenting today have demonstrated fantastic technical understanding and superior ingenuity in their projects.”
This is the 5th year the World Architecture Festival Awards have been presented, and by the end of the awards 35 WAF Awards will have been announced across the three main sections of Completed Buildings, Landscape and Future Projects.
Projects entered this year, against a challenging economic climate, reflect the festival’s theme of ‘Rethink and Renew’, highlighting the need for innovative and creative approaches to existing buildings and areas. The theme also questions whether it is time for architecture to rethink whether it is fulfilling its intended role, and is having a significant impact on those who ultimately use the resultant buildings and spaces.
The awards programme will culminate with the announcement of the coveted ‘World Building of the Year’ award, which will be selected by the festival’s super-jury. It will be chaired by Neil Denari, Principal of NMDA (Neil M. Denari Architects Inc). The highly esteemed international judging panel also includes Ben van Berkel, Moshe Safdie, Mok Wei Wei, Jürgen Mayer, Yvonne Farrell and Kenzo Tange.
Previous winners of the World Building of the Year Award include Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects (2008); Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg (2009), MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) in Rome, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010), and the Media-TIC building in Barcelona, designed by Cloud 9.
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