14 HDB projects win design awards, including SkyTerrace @ Dawson

SINGAPORE - Fourteen public housing projects were given the Housing and Development Board (HDB) Design Awards this year - the largest number since the awards' inception in 2004.

These accolades recognise the HDB's industry partners for their work in designing housing estates and flats.

The top honour, the HDB Design Award 2015, went to SkyTerrace @ Dawson, which was designed by SCDA Architects.


SkyTerrace @ Dawson has tetris-stacked blocks, green roof terraces and a loft concept.  PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The Queenstown project, completed this year, comprises five residential blocks of 40 and 43 storeys. Special features include six sky terraces, an outdoor amphitheatre for communal activities, lush greenery as well as metal mesh stair walls that let in more light and create better ventilation.


The outdoor amphitheatre at SkyTerrace @ Dawson. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES


The metal mesh stair walls at SkyTerrace @ Dawson. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Elevated walkways also make for breezier walks while screening off the multi-storey car park.


Elevated walkways at SkyTerrace @ Dawson. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The project, which houses multi-generation loft units, is also notable for its staggered facade, which creates an interesting building profile, said Mr Oon Jin Aik, director of SCDA Architects. He added that extensive terraced planting which dangle over some of the buildings' edges also "soften" the look of the place.


The extensive terraced planting at SkyTerrace @ Dawson. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Punggol's Waterway Woodcress, designed by ADDP Architects, won a Certificate of Merit - Design award. Completed in April, it is one of the HDB developments that flank the Punggol Waterway.

The seven blocks there come in staggered heights, allowing more than half of the units to have views of the waterway.


Punggol's Waterway Woodcress won a Certificate of Merit - Design award. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The precinct's rustic theme is also brought out in the blocks' brown tones and timbre-patterned facade and lift doors. Triangular screens at the top of the blocks also mimic the pitched roofs that one can find in villages, while concealing water tanks, said ADDP's senior architectural associate Ryan Lye.


Triangular screens at the top of the blocks also mimic the pitched roofs that one can find in villages, while concealing water tanks. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

A main landscaped deck also hides a basement multi-storey carpark and substation, while segregating vehicular traffic from pedestrians. Benches on the deck also snake around the greenery for a "more fluid, not so rigid" look, said Mr Lye.


Benches on the deck snake around the greenery for a "more fluid, not so rigid" look. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Other award-winning projects include Kampung Admiralty, Hougang Capeview and Acacia Breeze @ Yishun.

Mr Sonny Chan, Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards member and jury panellist for the HDB Design Awards, said: "The partnership forged between HDB and the industry professionals have promoted innovation and new perspectives of public housing, blurring the lines between public and private developments."

HDB's deputy director for design policy, Mr Jeremiah Lim, described design as an "important element" in HDB's building process. He said: "Residents like their projects a little bit different from the projects next door. So every project that we have has a unique name, a unique theme, unique identity. That's where we find that working with private consultants becomes very helpful, because every project will be designed differently.

"In the end what it gives is different precincts that residents are proud to call home. Together with the unique precinct names, it makes their sense of identity and sense of belonging as a resident all the more stronger."

For SkyTerrace @ Dawson resident Cheah Tse Boon, 35, his project's design reminds him of a "five-star condominium". Mr Cheah, who owns a behaviour therapy school with his wife, moved into a five-room loft unit there with his family in May. His parents-in-law live in a connecting studio apartment.


Mr Cheah Tse Boon (right) and his wife Ms Jean Foo, with their son Elias Cheah. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Said Mr Cheah: "I like the landscaping here, it stands out from other HDB developments. The overhanging gardens, the sky bridges - they look way much cooler. Singapore is a hot, tropical country, so such greenery really cools the building."

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg