SINGAPORE - Life just got a whole lot easier for Tampines residents with the completion and grand opening of Our Tampines Hub on Sunday (Aug 6).
Born out of the ideas of thousands of residents, the hub is Singapore's first integrated lifestyle centre, with its own 5,000-seat stadium and 400-seat Festive Arts Theatre.
"There is also a whole range of other services and retail outlets, so residents can just drop by Our Tampines Hub on their way home from work and get all they need here," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was the guest of honour at the launch.
Previously, community activities were held at temporary spaces, like the plot of state land adjacent to the Tampines MRT station.
Here is a look at five interesting features of the new hub.
1. The Town Square
Having a Fifa-quality synthetic football pitch is in itself no mean feat, but the stadium at Our Tampines Hub boasts features beyond that.
With the capacity to sit 5,000 people, the stadium is designed to be suitable for communal activities for both the young and old.
Said Mr Suhaimi Rafdi, director of Our Tampines Hub: "This area is going to be uniquely different. It is programmed in the morning for families and the elderly to use for activities such as taiji. Later in the afternoon, it will be open to the public for football."
For something more laidback in the evening, people can chill by just enjoying the view or watch what is showing on the big screen.
2. Festive Arts Theatre
The 400-seat theatre can host both live performances and movie screenings.
The National Arts Council (NAC) is working closely with Our Tampines Hub as "the latest addition in the islandwide network of arts and culture nodes", said Ms Jean Tan, NAC's assistant director for engagement and participation.
"We are also working to bring in resident arts groups which will be housed in the facility to create programmes year-round for the residents," she added.
It certainly takes the campaign to bring the arts to the doorstep of Singaporeans a step forward.
3. Rooftop swimming pools
Just like the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands, Tampines residents can now take a swim on the rooftop.
The swimming complex at the hub has six pools for visitors to take a dip in or swim laps.
In addition to the regular laned pools, there is a shallow one, with a playground for kids.
4. Tampines Regional Library
This library boasts more than just a great selection of books
It also has a culinary studio and a 700m-long running track, making it a hub of its own within Our Tampines Hub.
Visitors will also find an indoor playground and makers labs equipped with a green screen and 3D printers.
"We wanted to make it a memorable experience for the residents, so we wanted to so something that would be a little jarring to people - cooking and reading in a library," said Mr Winston Tan, head of the eastern region of the National Library Board.
But he also added that the culinary studio will focus more on baking and microwaveable foods.
He said: "If people do too much heavy cooking, there will be quite a lot of smoke and oil... We will see how we can manage so that the smell doesn't transmit to other parts of the library."
There is also a community gallery to showcase the history and heritage of Tampines from the 19th century to the present.
5. Eco-community garden
From lettuce to cai xin, this green space lets volunteers grow and harvest fruits and vegetables.
The greens grown at the garden on Level 5 will be used to supply the culinary studio in the library. They will also be distributed to residents.