URA calls for proposals for Rail Corridor

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Mar 18) launched a request for proposals from design professionals to develop a Concept Master Plan and concept proposals for Singapore’s Rail Corridor.

Over the past three-and-a-half years, URA has been engaging different segments of the community to gather feedback on the 24-km long Rail Corridor spanning the north to south of Singapore. These have been distilled into a set of planning and design goals.

URA said in a news release that the proposals should have “nature and greenery, celebration of heritage, and connectivity as hallmarks of the Rail Corridor experience”. The proposals should also be sensitive to local context, the authority said.

“Retaining and enriching the signature ‘green corridor’ experience is also one of the key requirements,” URA added.

Mr Ng Lang, CEO of the URA, said:”Our intention is to continue to sensitively stage the development of this project with the community, and not rush into developing the whole stretch at one go.”

Participating teams have to propose designs for four key activity nodes and two special interest areas along the Rail Corridor:

  • Buona Vista near one-north: This should become a vibrant community space for the nearby business park and research community, as well as residents of Queenstown neighbourhood, said URA.
  • Bukit Timah Railway Station area: The green heart of the Rail Corridor should be complementary to its idyllic natural setting anchored by the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station. This is where occasional community events can be held, URA said. At most other times, it can be a place of retreat and where one can enjoy the serene, green landscape.
  • Former Bukit Timah Fire Station: The former Bukit Timah Fire Station and quarters will become a new gateway into the Rail Corridor, URA said. Buildings within the fire station site should be retained and a new pedestrian link should be provided for visitors to explore parks fringing the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve such as Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Batok Nature Park. There could also be linkage to nearby heritage sites such as the Old Ford Factory and site of the Battle of Bukit Timah, which are steeped in World War II history, URA said.
  • Kranji (opposite Kranji MRT station): This is envisioned this to become the northern gateway into the Rail Corridor, and could be a place for community events. Its design should complement and be sensitive to key landmarks in the area such as the Singapore Turf Club, Kranji War Memorial, and Mandai Mangroves, URA stated.
  • Adaptive reuse of the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station: This national monument should become the most prominent and important gateway into the Rail Corridor, said URA. Participating teams should consider how the railway station can be put to adaptive reuse as a community building for the next 20 years, pending the development of the Greater Southern Waterfront.
  • Urban-green-blue tapestry at Choa Chu Kang: The stretch of the Rail Corridor at Choa Chu Kang that is adjacent to the Sungei Pang Sua Canal provides an opportunity to weave a unique urban-green-blue tapestry in the precinct, said URA. Currently, that stretch has low plant biodiversity. Participating teams will need to come up with innovative design concepts to enhance and integrate that segment of the Rail Corridor with Sungei Pang Sua to create an ecologically richer and more vibrant natural environment, and merge it seamlessly with future housing design in the area.

URA said there will be a 2-stage tender selection process and successful teams of consultants will be announced in October. More information can be found at URA’s website.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Mar 2015

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