For several months, a group of like-minded planners, architects and stakeholders have been working tirelessly on an exciting project in Woodlands, next to the Admiralty MRT Station.
They are seized with a mission to build an integrated complex which can provide a wide range of services to the local residents, with great convenience in mind. Within the complex, there will be studio apartments, medical centre, childcare facility, seniors’ activity centre, hawker centre, shops, and many watering holes for the residents to meet and bond.
As these services will be provided by diverse agencies, strong coordination among them is a major success factor. Fortunately, the agencies are like-minded, united by a common purpose to make the life of their users even better.
Our objective is to create a modern urban kampong within a busy city – one that can pull people together and create a strong sense of community, familiarity and identity.
This one-stop hub, which HDB and MOH are developing in partnership with MSF, NEA, Alexandra Health System, and Early Childhood Development Agency, promises something for everyone. Conveniently located next to the Admiralty MRT station, it integrates dining and retail outlets, social and healthcare facilities, Studio Apartments, and community spaces, all under one roof. Residents will be able to enjoy greater convenience and accessibility, as a result of the synergy derived from housing various related facilities and services in one integrated development.
The design also incorporates many opportunities for the young and old, families and friends, to mingle and bond over events, thus fostering a more caring and vibrant community. For example, residents can look forward to a large plaza where community activities can be organised. Well landscaped sky decks provide a quiet space for neighbours to relax and to meet up. The child care centre will be located next to the senior care centre, encouraging the elderly and the young to mingle and interact.
When I was in Bilbao, Spain to chair the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum, I visited a similar integrated development there, the Alhóndiga Bilbao. In fact the Forum was held in the complex which also houses a public library, a sports complex, many shops and dining spaces. Originally a wine warehouse built in 1909, it was later “emptied out” and renovated to become a very successful multi-use public space serving the community.
This project in Woodlands can be as successful as Bilbao’s Alhóndiga.
I am optimistic as I am struck by the level of like-mindedness among the inter-agency stakeholders. The design has reflected the tireless effort to develop not a disparate but an integrated development that gels together. I can’t wait to see it being brought to life.
Meanwhile, we will keep on exploring and piloting new ideas so that all our housing estates will become endearing places where our residents truly feel at home.
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