Project Description

Design Competition Proposal for Char Yong Association (CYA) Building at Lorong 18 Geylang, Singapore

We generated our design based on the 2 most prominent aspects of the Hakka people, namely:

1. the prominence of their many achievements in the public realm and

2. their unique vernacular architecture.

The building is composed of 2 main blocks- the Commercial Block to the north `free-end’ of the generally rectangular-shaped site, and the Association Block on the south, contiguous with its imposing and monotonous `slab-block’ neighbours (Diamond Hotel and Hotel 81 [Premier] Star).

Viewed from Geylang Road (north-end of Lorong 18), the Commercial Block anchors the CYA building at its `free-end’, acting not only as a distinct, assured corner marker, but also providing a pristine, clean-lined element against which the lively green stacked volumes of the Association Block contrast and juxtapose. This interplay of the 2 blocks with the concave space of the lush Community Courtyard results in an imageable and delightful architectural ensemble, establishing its distinguished presence in an otherwise diverse and variegated neighbourhood, thus communicating the importance of the Association in the society.

Approaching from the south-end of Lorong 18, the massive vertical greenery of the Commercial Block and the cascading volumes of the Association Block lead one’s vision intuitively into the spatial relief of the Community Courtyard. Flanked by the 2 blocks, the 3-sided courtyard presents itself as a new form-space expression that draws onlookers into itself, creating a unique and refreshing visual and physical urban street experience. The cascading stacked-volumes of the Association Block provides an interesting dialogue in contrast to the relentless window wall expression of the long hotel building blocks adjacent to it.