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.
SOLAR ORCHID in Singapore by SPARK Architects
July 9th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: SPARK Architects
In the tradition of conceptual and visionary architecture proposals, SPARK Architects reveal their design for a floating hawker centre – the Solar Orchid. This concept for self-contained, solar-powered, floating hawker pods suggests a way to mend the now distant relationship between Singapore and its waterscapes, while celebrating and reinvigorating a favoured local pass time.
Singapore was built on an intimate relationship with the water, which has historically been an artery of culture, commerce and recreation. However, the recent decades of urban development, industrialisation and land reclamation have largely severed this relationship, deleting most of the traditional kampungs and kelongs from the coast, inland water bodies, and sea.
SPARK’s concept for a floating hawker centre draws on our experience of the city, its culture and heritage, and all that we enjoy about it, to imagine a new relationship with Singapore’s public waterscape. This visionary project imagines a mobile, reconfigurable and sustainable floating hawker centre that could ‘pop up’ in a variety of locations and formats.
The Solar Orchid recalls the mobility of the original Singaporean hawker – the mobile street vendor – with self-contained, solar-powered, lightweight floating pods. Each pod accommodates cooking stalls (incorporating built-in exhaust, water, gas, electrical, waste collection and water recycling services) as well as table settings.
The protective canopy is an energy-generating inflated ETFE pillow incorporating thin-film photovoltaic cells. It complements the $11 million Singaporean government initiative to develop floating solar islands in Singapore’s reservoirs. The Solar Orchids can be clustered together in various formations to create hawker centres that are able to respond to different locations and conditions. They would leave no trace of their presence due to their selfcontained nature.
Stephen Pimbley says
We have a duty as designers to develop and propose ideas and visions that can enhance our cities, as well as contribute to making them more liveable places. History offers many extraordinary examples of visionary projects that remain on paper, serving as vehicles for debate about the future of our cities.
SPARK’s Solar Orchid proposal is a bold vision unhindered by commercial and planning constraints. It is our reflection on changing social, cultural and environmental conditions and concerns and how the best the untapped pockets of the city can be used to support and make better the lives of Singaporeans.
SPARK is an award-winning international design studio that creates distinctive buildings for our clients and great places for people. We focus on architecture’s potential to contribute positively to the experience of the city while addressing the pragmatic issues that govern each project. We work with the bold yet common-sense vision of enlarging the spaces of the city into our buildings, and of unfolding our buildings into the city – creating opportunities for layered experiences and engaging places.
Our celebrated designs emerge from a detailed analysis of context, brief, and typology. SPARK has a multinational team numbering over 100. We work synergistically, fostering our numerous perspectives on culture and varied professional experience to achieve rich, integrated design solutions that consider the impact on all project stakeholders.
From our four offices – in London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore – we have created and delivered projects in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Australia. Each one has its own unique spark and manifests our desire to tackle and deliver on challenges that reflect the key global imperative of attaining a sustainable, life-improving environment for all.
SPARK’s award winning projects include Clarke Quay in Singapore, the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal (MIPIM Asia Awards 2011, “Best Mixed-Use development” award), the Starhill Gallery Kuala Lumpur and the Raffles City projects in Ningbo and Beijing.
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Category: Community Centre