TRAA International Residential Architecture Design Competition 2021 Entry

Expansion Pack for the Domain of Home & Collective Living

After a few years living in the shade of the pandemic, we have undergone significant changes in many ways about how we live. From a more systematized, organized, and well-demarcated living routine, we can observe the emerging of various lifestyles- remote working, digital nomad, escapism, co-living etc. They are progressively manifold, multitasking, fragmented, and vaguely transition within live-work-play, as if there is no defined threshold to differentiate the supposed routine to be followed.

In that sense, buildings with monotonous purpose like many old office towers are becoming an outdated typology, which is incapable to uphold the turbulent shifts of lifestyles today. They are considered underutilized oftentimes, not only during the pandemic but they are only occupied for a short timespan in a regular day. In this project, we take the generic office developments in Singapore as a template for transformation into a multifunctional housing complex- experimenting and envisioning a typological change for a heathier and sustainable model of home for the present and future.

On the other hand, housing nowadays is often conceived as investment product instead of a true ‘home’, which neglects cultivating the sense of belonging and community. In response to this, the design is formulated based on the Dunbar’s theory which suggests the cognitive limit to maintain social relationship across several scales, and inclusive of diverse range of inhabitants- young family, multi-generations family, couple, single, entrepreneurs, co-living tenants etc. Being planned systematically to form a close-knit community and a cohesive neighborhood, we hope the design can fully reflects the ideal of healthy, sustainable, yet multifunctional at the same time as collective homes for the people.

To generate the grounded sense of belonging and community, the design aims to extend the domain and sensation of ‘home’. The modules of home for different inhabitant types are designed and clustered specifically to the suitable sizes according to the Dunbar’s Number. These group sizes are then being bridged across with the live, play, work, and share programmes to expand the notion of ‘home’ in the scale from small to large, from private to public.

Therefore, the clustering of home modules does not only an attempt to group and organize, but also a cultivation of familiarity within appropriate sizes of smaller communities, then gradually extend to the larger neighborhood within the complex. Whereas the interpreted spaces interpreted from the live, play, work, and share programmes are portrayed as the catalyzing transition to further connect the residents from the scale of a single home to the holistic and collective home which housed under a roof.

Conclusively, the architecture of this multifunctional housing complex is speculated to accommodate the evolving communities and changing events, comprises with the design of dynamic thresholds and shared spaces that is resulted by the gradual transition of Dunbar’s scale. It is also a model to rethink the emerging living and built environment by reinstating the current underused capacity- a paradigm shift for richer, heathier, and sustainable home of tomorrow.

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