Posted November 05, 2018 07:00:37By now, many of you have heard about the new skyscraper being constructed on a reclaimed site in Singapore.
The architect behind the building is a Singaporean-born architect by the name of Jens Hillebrandt, and he’s also been awarded the 2018 Architects in Residence Award.
Jens told The Register that he designed the building as a way to create a new space for his students to study, but also for Singaporeans to live.
“We wanted to create an environment that could be a refuge for students who feel they are unable to return to their homes after completing their degrees and work in the fields they love,” he said.
“For those who can, we want to create spaces where they can spend time together.”
It’s not just a student-oriented project, either.
Jents Hillebrandt told the Register that the building will also be a place for Singaporean expatriates to learn more about architecture and design.
“It’s a great place for expatriate Singaporeans, who may be a bit reluctant to get a real-world architectural education,” he explained.
“I think it’s a good thing to create space where people can learn and work together.”
So, what is a reclaimed building?
It’s one of those terms that’s become synonymous with the term ‘resilience’ (or ‘resistance’).
A reclaimed building is one where the structural integrity of the building itself has been lost, as is the materials used.
The idea behind this is that reclaimed buildings, when they’re built from the ground up, are much more resilient than those built from reclaimed materials.
“A lot of times, it’s more of a cost-benefit-based project where it’s cheaper to use reclaimed materials,” Hillebrett said.
He said this is also a concept that could work for his buildings as well.
“The building could be used to house people who need a place to live, or a group of people who would like to work together,” he added.
“As a building, it would be a safe space to work.”
Jens has a number of other projects underway in Singapore, but his latest project is one that’s going to change the way Singaporeans live and work.
His company, Architects in Resistance, is also working on a residential project in Singapore and is set to open a branch office in Hong Kong.
The project is currently seeking a design for a home and offices, with a timeline of the design taking about five years to complete.
“What we’re looking to do is give Singaporeans a way out of the constraints of housing and work that they currently experience,” Jens said.
Jhens Hilleboldt told The Resilience Institute that it’s not a bad thing to have the space available for people to go to work, because many Singaporeans don’t have any kind of workplace.
“One of the biggest problems in Singapore is that we have a lack of opportunity for people who work in Singapore,” he noted.
“There are many opportunities to move around, but Singapore is a country where you need a workplace to have a normal life.”
The Resiliency Institute also provided a number ways to help people in Singapore who may not be able to relocate or find employment, with an offer of free furniture for those who need it.
“In many parts of the world, we have an idea of a ‘home’ and people want to live there, but they are not sure where they want to go,” Hilebrett explained.
“[This is] an opportunity for Singapore to help those who don’t want to move and find a place.
It’s a safe place for people and the people can do whatever they want.”
It seems like the future is bright for Singapore.
It could be time to re-evaluate our cityscape.
“Resilience is something that we can live with, but the reality is we can’t always be able the same,” Hildebrandt said.
It would be great to see this project become a reality, as it might bring more people together.
“If we can make a space that can give people a safe environment for their personal and professional growth, we can give our children a better future,” he concluded.
“So, I think we’re on the right path.”