Revitalising seniors’ golden years
Two design projects that address ageing societies received the Design of the Year Award.
Two design projects that address ageing societies received the recent Design of the Year Award at this year’s President*s Design Award. They include Kampung Admiralty by WOHA Architects and Goodlife! Makan by DP Architects.
The biennial award jointly organised by the DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority honoured these recipients and seven others for the Design of the Year Award, and two for the Designer of the Year Award. The awards are given to those who have contributed to economic, cultural and community transformation, raised the quality of life, made ground-breaking achievements in design, and elevated Singapore on the world stage.
Guest-of-honour at the event, President Halimah Yacob, said, “The common thread that runs through good design is the improvement it brings to our quality of life. All of this year’s award recipients have accomplished this through their creative, thoughtful and empathetic designs. Each award-winning project is a unique testimony to how design can be used to empower lives, uplift communities and propel innovation.”
Goodlife! Makan is a senior activity centre (SAC) at Marine Terrace which draws out stay-alone seniors to prepare daily meals for one another. A void deck was transformed into a community kitchen and living room, the former allowing seniors to prepare ingredients, cook meals and wash dishes. Different coloured zones provide visual markers to help seniors from different languages and ethnic backgrounds communicate with one another. Full-height open glass doors provide cross-ventilation and welcome the community in.
This simple but bold departure from the traditional care model and typically enclosed SAC has transformed a group of seniors from recipients of charity to stewards of their own community. DP Architects’ Seah Chee Huang, who led the Goodlife! Makan project, said: “We identified a vulnerable community of stay-alone seniors within the silver generation who hardly stepped out of their homes and were isolated from society. The Goodlife! Makan project, with its many features, encouraged some to step out and form social bonds with others, showing that design has the capacity to reframe the way the community sees seniors and the way they see themselves.”
The other winning project was Kampung Admiralty, an 11-storey development which consists of 104 flats for seniors, a medical centre, a senior care centre, a childcare centre and a 900-seat hawker centre. All levels are imbued with greenery, and the biophilic design offers both visual relief and opportunities for residents to bond. A sheltered community plaza welcomes the surrounding neighbourhood.
The successful integration has enabled the seniors of Kampung Admiralty to lead independent and active lives. The compact and liveable development, which won the World Building of the Year at the 2018 World Architecture Festival, is said to be a model for the future of ageing.
WOHA Architects’ Pearl Chee, who co-led the project, said: “Kampung Admiralty’s success comes from the mix of programmes that supports ageing-in-place, and the holistic integration of both the hardware (building) and software (public programmes). I think Kampung Admiralty is a relevant prototype that can help other cities with ageing societies.”
A total of 129 submissions across various disciplines including architecture, interior design, visual communications, user interface, UX/UI design, educational and user experience, spatial design, engineering design and more were received for this year’s President*s Design Award.