Singapore masterplan responds to Garden City
Woodlands is the only regional centre in Singapore which benefits from a waterfront, and the town’s Urban Redevelopment Authority aims to take advantage of fine views across the Johor Strait.
Much existing development in Woodlands is characterised by oppressive blocks bisected by heavily trafficked roads. The first part of the regional centre to be transformed will be Woodlands North Coast, which is 70 hectares stretching south from the waterfront. The redevelopment authority has run a masterplan competition and the designs submitted by a consortium including LDA Design make for a lively mixed use urban landscape.
Our proposed masterplan creates an urban park framework, with infrastructure sitting within the lush natural environment. The new buildings are varied in design and placed in staggered clusters. The park suits walking and cycling, with motor traffic is minimised by repositioning arterial roads along the edges, so that spaces throughout the site are reconnected.
The Central Green boulevard which runs south to north is a sinuous landscape ‘tributary system’ which opens a view corridor right through to the coast. Commercial development in the south of the site will be high end, with a generous tree canopy and gardens linked by paths, with seating beside pools and ponds. Planting is dense to improve the quality of the air and to cool it, and is used to separate commercial uses from light industry.
Central Green changes in scale and feel as it heads north through the site, the dense tree canopy filtering out into glades which provide the setting for housing. The green streets and squares have active frontages, and open and natural areas combine with waterways and urban parks to encourage exploration. They also make for a strong network of flexible spaces to support sociable activity such as football, concerts and picnics. A series of sculptural mounds provide new views and their hollows and enclaves create natural swimming ponds. The mounds also minimise soil removal from site, in line with integrated environmental management which includes water recycling.
Central Green meanders north with more copse-like planting, and finally broadens out to a design which softens and animates the water’s edge. Habitats for wildlife and biodiversity are greatly enriched, and new inlets and bays provide new angles on the Malaysian skyline.