Kampung Admiralty: A Mix of Public Facilities


Architects: WOHA
Location: Singapore, Republic of Singapore
Area: 32.331,60 m2
Year: 2017
Photography: Darren Soh, K. Kopter and Patrick Bingham-Hall

Kampung Admiralty is Singapore’s first integrated public development that brings together a mix of public facilities and services under one roof. The traditional approach is for each government agency to carve out its own plot of land, resulting in several standalone buildings. This one-stop integrated complex, on the other hand, maximises land use and is a prototype for meeting the needs of Singapore’s ageing population.

Located on a tight 0.9 ha site with a height limit of 45 m, the scheme builds upon a layered ‘club sandwich’ approach. A “Vertical Kampung (village)” is devised, with a Community Plaza in the lower stratum, a Medical Centre in the middle stratum, and a Community Park with apartments for seniors in the upper stratum. These three distinct strata juxtapose the various building uses to foster diversity of cross-programming, freeing up the ground level for activity generators. The close proximity to healthcare, social, commercial and other amenities supports inter-generational bonding and promotes active ageing in place.

The Community Plaza is a fully public, porous and pedestrianised ground plane, designed as a community living room. Within this welcoming and inclusive space, the public can participate in organised events, join in the season’s festivities, shop, or eat at the hawker centre on the second storey. The breezy tropical plaza is shaded and sheltered by the Medical Centre above, allowing activities to continue regardless of rain or shine.

Locating a Medical Centre in Kampung Admiralty means that residents need not go all the way to the hospital to consult a specialist, or to get a simple day surgery done. To promote wellness and healing, the centre’s consultation and waiting areas are washed in natural daylight from perimeter windows and through a central courtyard. Views towards the Community Plaza below and the Community Park above also help seniors feel connected to nature and to other people.

The Community Park is a more intimately scaled, elevated village green where residents can actively come together to exercise, chat or tend community farms. Complementary programmes such as childcare and an Active Aging Hub (including senior care) are located side by side, bringing together young and old to live, eat and play. A total of 104 apartments are provided in two 11-storey blocks for elderly singles or couples. “Buddy benches” at shared entrances encourage seniors to come out of their homes and interact with their neighbours. The units adopt universal design principles and are designed for natural cross-ventilation and optimum daylight.