URA plans new community space at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station

The open space above the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station will be Singapore’s latest venue for community activities and performances.

This is all part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s plan to increase the number of public spaces along the Orchard Road area.

By July next year, the plot of land at Dhoby Ghaut will be transformed into a new space that will host community events and performances.

Open space above Dhoby Ghaut MRT station

The project is part of URA’s strategy to provide variety along the Orchard Road shopping belt.

Fun Siew Leng, Director, Urban Planning and Design, URA, said: “We’d like to continue to safeguard some of these vacant state land for future rejuvenation for the area. So in the interim, we thought that it’s better to put it to a better use. We put some facilities and amenities there and the public can get to enjoy the space better.”

The site sits at the crossroads of three rail lines and features an integrated borderless design.

The centrepiece will be this outdoor amphitheatre that will serve as a stage for community performances.

Artist’s impression of open space above Dhoby Ghaut MRT station

The unique “basket-weave” design of aluminium screens can seat up to 500 for an “outdoor room” concept.

Chan Soo KIan, Design Director, SCDA Architects, said: “It’s a little bit of form follows function and form dictating function. We’re working with various forces. We’re also responding to the unique site conditions as it’s next to the MRT and next to several drop off and bus stations. So we had to approach from the point of view that this structure would not have a front or a back.”

“There’ll be more land area for people to do their activities and there won’t be so many buildings,” said one member of the public.

“Great because people need more space, more places like this to have morning exercise,” said another.

The project will cost around S$4 million.

URA says feedback was gathered from community stakeholders and their input incorporated into the final design.

Community stakeholders included the People’s Association and the Singapore Management University to better understand their needs. – CNA/ch

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Mar 2008

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