Multi-function building and linear forest at two sites

Concept design of adaptive reuse of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. PHOTO: MKPL/TURENSCAPE TEA

The former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will become a multi-function community building while a linear forest will be created in Choa Chu Kang, as part of plans to develop two sites along the 24km rail corridor.

Plans for the sites were unveiled yesterday, at the launch of an exhibition on the winning proposals that runs until Nov 28 at The URA Centre.

Both sites were awarded to a team made up of Chinese company Turenscape International and local firm MKPL Architects, based on the strength of their concept designs.

An "urban green-blue tapestry" is planned for a stretch of the corridor near Pang Sua Canal in Choa Chu Kang. This includes widening the Rail Corridor to create a 50m-wide linear forest.

"What we want to bring back is the rusticity of the Rail Corridor, which everybody loves," said Mr Siew Man Kok, director of MKPL Architects.

The linear forest will be integrated with the existing environment as well as three upcoming housing developments, which have not been confirmed as private or public housing.

Said architect Raymond Woo, who was part of a 12-member panel that evaluated the proposals: "It is a daring scheme that allows residents at all blocks and levels to enjoy the linear forest, with sky bridges for those on the higher floors and communal farming decks for the lower floors."

A deck will also be built over part of the Pang Sua Canal, to link the Rail Corridor with existing developments in the Choa Chu Kang area.

The deck will also allow the waterway to be used for recreational purposes.

Farther south, the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will be repurposed as a multi-function community building, and is expected to include facilities such as a heritage gallery and space for pop-up retail outlets.

The plans also call for a new public park where community events can be held, to be located where the railway station's carpark was.

The team also proposed an additional entrance and exit for the future Cantonment MRT station on the Circle Line, which will incorporate the existing railway platforms.

The team said it was mindful of the history of the station when coming up with the concept designs.

"The proposal is sensitive and befitting to the station's stature as a national monument and icon of our railway history," said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

The former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is slated for community use for the next 20 years, and will be re-evaluated taking into account development plans for the area.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is seeking feedback on the submitted design concepts from stakeholders as well as the public through the first quarter of next year.

URA chief executive officer Ng Lang has said public feedback will also shape when the plans for various stretches are implemented.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2015, with the headline Multi-function building and linear forest at two sites. Subscribe