Proposal to turn Old Changi Hospital into stargazing spot wins competition

The team behind the proposal said the low light pollution and high vantage point of the area would allow visitors to enjoy the view of stars and planes.
The team behind the proposal said the low light pollution and high vantage point of the area would allow visitors to enjoy the view of stars and planes.PHOTO: BRYAN LEE JIA EN, FOO JING XI, HAILEY SU LEI YADANAR AND MATTHEW GOH XINZHI

SINGAPORE - A proposal to transform the Old Changi Hospital into a stargazing observatory and aviation viewing deck has won a competition aimed at revamping the Changi Point area.

The proposal, named Ascending to the Sky, placed first in the open category in a contest for ideas to repurpose the old hospital.

The competition was organised by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The winning team said the low light pollution and high vantage point of the area would allow visitors to enjoy the view of stars and planes. The team comprises three architecture undergraduates and a former Singapore Polytechnic architecture student who is currently serving his national service. 

Mr Matthew Goh Xinzhi, who is part of the team, said that as there are few buildings in the area, it is not brightly lit.

"We turned this weakness into an advantage, complementing the day experience (of viewing planes) with an evening of astronomy. Darkness now becomes the key function in a renewed didactic experience with the stars," added the 23-year-old National University of Singapore student.

Meanwhile, the first-place proposal in the open category for a contest to design a concept plan for the Changi Point area envisions a forest trail with restored indigenous plants, as well as a coastal walk to showcase public art and provide seating for sunset viewing.



The first-place proposal in the open category for the Changi Point area envisions a forest trail with restored indigenous plants, as well as a coastal walk to showcase public art and provide seating for sunset viewing. 
PHOTO: APRIL VALLE AND ARTLHEENE RIVERA

Members of the public were invited in April to propose ideas to enhance the Changi Point area as part of the Charmingly Changi competition.

Changi Point is located at the eastern end of Singapore, bounded by the Strait of Johor, Loyang Avenue, Old Pier Road and Telok Paku Road.

Two design challenges were given: first, to design a concept plan for the 42ha Changi Point area, and the second, a call for ideas to repurpose the Old Changi Hospital.

Participants had to suggest ways of repurposing existing infrastructure instead of relying on intensive development works.

In total, 134 submissions were received for both challenges in the open category and tertiary category, which was for students from universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions. 


A proposal to transform the Old Changi Hospital into a stargazing observatory and aviation viewing deck has won a competition aimed at revamping the Changi Point area. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN


Part of the Changi Point Boardwalk. Members of the public were invited in April to propose ideas to enhance the Changi Point area. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SLA chief executive Colin Low said he was impressed with the proposals.

The top team in the open category won $6,000, while the top prize in the tertiary category was $3,000.

The second- and third-placed teams in each category also won cash prizes.

The respective agencies will review the proposals and identify suitable ideas and concepts to be implemented into future plans for the area.

URA chief executive Lim Eng Hwee said: "The ideas we received reflect the community's aspirations for Changi Point, and help us draw up plans that strengthen the unique character of the area, while making it more inclusive and relevant to visitors from all walks of life."