Woodlands 'modern kampung' first to integrate active ageing hub and childcare centre

The facade of the 11-storey Kampung Admiralty development in Woodlands on Aug 7, 2017.
The facade of the 11-storey Kampung Admiralty development in Woodlands on Aug 7, 2017. ST PHOTO: TOH WEN LI
The facade of the 11-storey Kampung Admiralty development in Woodlands on Aug 7, 2017.
The facade of the 11-storey Kampung Admiralty development in Woodlands on Aug 7, 2017. ST PHOTO: TOH WEN LI

SINGAPORE - Come September, an 11-storey "modern kampung" in Woodlands boasting a host of integrated facilities and amenities will serve the needs of residents - and many are already anticipating its official opening.

It has even won an award.

Kampung Admiralty is the first development in Singapore to integrate housing for the elderly with a medical centre, eldercare and childcare centres, a community park, vegetable farm, as well as a 900-seat hawker centre and nearly 20 dining and retail outlets.

The HDB housing complex, comprising two blocks of Housing Board studio apartments designed for elderly residents, was launched in the July 2014 Build-To-Order exercise, and is intended as a "retirement kampung".

It is also the first to feature an active ageing hub located in the same place as a childcare centre.

Kampung Admiralty is one of 15 projects to have won this year's Minister's Team Awards. The awards were presented at the Ministry of National Development's (MND) National Day Observance Ceremony on Tuesday (Aug 8).

The annual awards recognise projects based on their degree of innovation, teamwork and impact.

Woodlands resident Melor Mohamed, whose 77-year-old mother lives with her, said of the active ageing hub: "At least when the elderly people see children, it will bring a smile to their faces. The children can also learn from the elderly."

The 44-year-old administrative officer, whose flat is a five-minute walk from the complex, said Kampung Admiralty would make it more convenient for her mother to go for medical check-ups.

Environmental health officer David Wong, 75, said: "It's good, having old and young together. The older people won't feel so lonely."

Retired bank manager Jackie Chan, 86, who has lived in Woodlands for more than 20 years, said of the active ageing hub: "I'll use it only if it's free, or affordable, around $2 or $3."

The project, which also comes with sustainable features such as a pneumatic waste conveyance system, is developed by the Housing Board in partnership with the Health Ministry, Alexandra Health System, the National Environment Agency, National Parks Board, Land Transport Authority and Early Childhood Development Agency.

At Tuesday's ceremony at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said that the winning projects had three common themes: a refusal to accept the status quo, willingness to experiment, take risks or innovate, and collaboration across agencies.

He added: "Sceptics will tell you to play it safe. But work hard to prove them wrong, and make things happen as the pioneers did."

Mr Wong also said: "We have not reached our physical limits. There is a lot more we can do, and must do, to build our infrastructure for the future."

He added: "I thank the winning teams for their efforts to build a home that all of us can be proud of."

Other winning projects include the Municipal Services Dashboard. It allows government agencies and town councils to share municipal feedback data at a comprehensive, unprecedented level.

This will support inter-agency collaboration, allowing agencies to more effectively tackle issues - such as high-rise littering and the feeding of stray animals - that are handled by multiple parties.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens Learning Forest, Two-Room Flexi Scheme, and Inter-Agency Design for Manufacturing and Assembly Taskforce also won the award.

At Tuesday's event, Mr Wong also presented a cheque for $105,008 - raised by the MND and its agencies - to the National Council of Social Service for this year's President's Challenge.