Archifest Pavilion 2018
We live in a time of rising global populism. Differences are feared, rather than celebrated. Communities separated and our collective identity lost. When architects design for the 1%, we play into this zeitgeist rather than rebel against it for the good of our city. As designers, we must think about not just the 99%, or the 1%, but the 100%. We need to use our creativity to bring communities together, through communal spaces where a diverse shared identity can be formed, for the flourishing an enjoyment of all people.
In post war Singapore the role of an architect was to be heroic and play their part in boldly rebuilding a young nation, but now we have succumbed to the demands of capitalism and what it symbolises, leaving a void, leaving emptiness despite our productivity. This void must be filled. The zeitgeist must be challenged.
So how do we bring the community together to create a diverse shared identity? Arguably the most prolific community space has been right under our noses all this time and much ignored… the HDB Void Deck. This humble shared shelter is the cornerstone of this pavilion concept and the inspiration behind our design.
The void deck carries fond memories for many of us. It’s a place to play, to meet the neighbours, a space for weddings, for uncles to play chess and aunties to chase around grandchildren. A multi purpose place for anyone and everyone. Often bare and utilitarian, it is the people in the community that decide what the void deck can be on any given day or at any time in history. It evolves with the needs of the community. The people make the place. The people make the void deck anything but “void”!
We took old architectural vernacular familiar to Singaporeans and re-interpreted them with a modern twist.
This is not nostalgia, this taking the best from the past and using it to shape the future. Our pavilion is the deconstruction of the void deck, to re-construct it into a different kind of pavilion for the people.
The main pavilion composes of white blank walls with the interjection of moveable coloured elements. These elements make reference to communal gathering spaces from the heartlands. By definition, “heartlands” are a place of important activity and the backbone of a movement. What better place to take inspiration for our feature elements.