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They are stellar works from our city-state: winners of the President’s Design Award, Singapore’s most prestigious design accolade. Every year, an appointed panel of expert jurors from Singapore and overseas select these designs that are of national significance and creative value to the country. 

Since 2006, this award has been conferred to 39 designers and 99 designs. Many of these works—ranging from visual communications to industrial design, fashion and all the way to urban design—are a part of Singaporeans’ everyday lives. Here are 6 award-winning designs in the heartlands that may just be around your home or office.

SkyTerrace @ Dawson
Dawson Road, Queenstown
By SCDA

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With its sleek and clean designs, the five 40 and 43-storey residential blocks are commonly mistaken as condominiums. But SkyTerrace @ Dawson is a public housing estate, a new generation design that is more sustainable and community-centric. As part of the Housing and Development Board’s “Housing-in-the-Park” concept, these apartment blocks also come with sky terraces and roof gardens for residents to enjoy scenic views and luscious greenery. Inside, the housing units pair multi-generational lofts with studio apartments so that families can live close to one another too.  While you’re there, why not pop by next door to see fellow award winner, SkyVille @ Dawson, another futuristic public housing estate. The heritage murals by comic artist Troy Chin are a must see!

Jurong Eco-Garden
CleanTech Loop, Boon Lay
By Atelier Dreiseitl Asia

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Located within Singapore’s first eco-business park is this five-hectare nature oasis. It offers a space of respite not just for workers test-bedding green technology and solutions at the adjacent CleanTech Park, but also the site’s existing flora and fauna. The landscape design takes advantage of the site’s natural elements as much as possible, including turning a waterbody into a freshwater swamp and enhancing an actual wildlife corridor for animal movement. Besides its natural attractions, the garden is also home to Singapore’s last two dragon pottery kilns, and there is also a 23-metres lookout made out of 200-million-years-old rocks from the Jurong Rock Caverns.

Henderson Waves
Between Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park
By RSP Architects Planners & Engineers and IJP Corporation

PDA winner 3

Some 36 metres above Henderson Road sits this wave-like structure that is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge. Designed as an abstraction of the Southern Ridges, a 10-kilometre nature trail which the bridge is a part of, this 284-metres long design connects Telok Blangah and Mount Faber park,offering stunning views of the Keppel bay area. The bridge is a stunner too, and was carefully designed with the environment in mind. Its naturally weathered structural concrete pylons were limited to minimise impact within the tree conservation area, while the surface deck’s indigenous Yellow Balau timber create a flowing form that is one with nature.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
90 Yishun Central, Yishun
By CPG Consultants 

PDA winner 4

Surrounded by lush greenery in its courtyard, rooftops and even wards, this 550-bed hospital is unlike the many “hygienically white” buildings that we have come to recognise. Based on the idea that “nature would nurture”, patients have views of greenery throughout the three blocks that resemble a resort. Beyond just green, the hospital’s eco-friendly design means it has no need to air-condition its public areas. And while hospitals are not typically thought of as destinations, this one is designed to be inviting to the public with its green spaces and even has a community garden that is tended to by nearby residents.

Bishan Community Library
5 Bishan Place, Bishan
By LOOK Architects

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A departure from libraries as stoic knowledge centres, this four-storey building injects fun into the reading experience and the anonymous heartlands. Inspired by tree houses, the architects shrouded a boxy building with skylights, trellises and coloured glass to bring in lots of natural light in a myriad of shades and colours, simulating the foliage of tropical trees. Within the library, there are both intimate niches that protrude out of the building to offer a space for contemplation, and also a cavern-like children’s section in the basement for imagination to run free. Such playfulness turns the library into an environment of experiences, an element often missing in this digital information age.

Enabling Village
20 Lengkok Bahru, Redhill
By WOHA

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The former Bukit Merah Vocational Institute in the 1970s was recently retrofitted to create this inclusive space for people with disabilities to work, train and meet. Besides ensuring barrier-free movement around the compound, including installing lifts, ramps with gentle gradients, and levelling the floors, the place is also designed to welcome nearby residents with inviting paths that connect to the rest of the neighbouhood. Inside, WOHA worked with landscaper designers Salad Dressing to surround the functional architecture with plants and water features that have welcomed not just visitors but also biodiversity. Hornbills, once thought to be extinct in Singapore, have even been sighted in this village!


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