WATCH: A sneak peek of Singapore Archifest 2020 virtual pavilion

September 24, 2020



Denny Mata

Before the opening of the first hybrid edition of Singapore Archifest, organized by the  Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), on September 25, ADDP Architects and OWIU Design gave us a sneak peek of the winning Singapore Archifest 2020 virtual pavilion. 

BluPrint Events Singapore Archifest 2020

Reclaiming Connectivity

The Pavilion design titled, Reclaiming Connectivity, was selected among 20 other design submissions “as it responds to the 2020 Singapore Archifest’s theme in a multi-layered manner, yet with a simple and subtle design, offering the potential for much deeper discussions for the festival,” according to the jury writeup. 

“The competition, being held amidst a pandemic situation, in all probability spurred the participating Architects to re-examine our design ecosystem; resulting in entries that were highly creative and thoughtful in their response to the material choice and this year’s Archifest theme,” said Christina Thean, SIA Design Thrust Co-Chair and Juror of the Pavilion competition.

BluPrint Events Singapore Archifest 2020

BluPrint Events Singapore Archifest 2020

This collaboration between ADDP Architects (represented by partner Mdm Chin Hang-Ping) and OWIU Design Principals and Founders Joel Wong and Amanda Gunawan, highlights the role of public spaces in human connectivity in the context of the current global crisis. The Pavilion aims to “inspire reflections on humanity’s innate need for connection, juxtaposed against the current reality of social distancing in public spaces.”

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The structure

The architects reinterpreted Le Corbusier’s concept of the open plan that seeks to create a natural order through a clear expression of the structure and connect individuals with the surroundings through its intimate scale and abstracted privacy. The structure uses glass, sustainable wood, and abstract photography to present connection and harmony.

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BluPrint Events Singapore Archifest 2020 virtual pavilion
Site Plan

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BluPrint Events Singapore Archifest 2020 virtual pavilion
Longitudinal Section

The Pavilion is a modular structure, which allows it to adapt to another context and venue. It also uses photography print on Light Emitting Surfaces (LES) glass panels to capture the subtle details of water and achieve a level of transparency while still maintaining safe distancing, which is inspired by Gunawan’s photographs of the abstracted movement of water in the natural landscape. The LES glass is a weatherproof building material with a uniform diffusion of light that mimics the moonshine, which creates a whimsical illumination for the Pavilion.

While the structure is designed to be built, festival-goers in this year’s Singapore Archifest can only visit the Pavilion virtually. This virtual format, however, allows the festival-goers to explore and examine the structure through an interactive 3D tour, offering up 360-degree views from anywhere in the world, without any economic or environmental restrictions.

BluPrint Events Singapore Archifest 2020 virtual pavilion

Gunawan said in a previous statement: “The virtual world is the Architect’s playground, it is our chance to simply become ‘form-makers.’ Bring this form into the real world to build and it inevitably has to change, for the better of course, because it becomes real. We then turn into problem-solvers and the way in which we address each problem is what determines our dexterity as Architects. Our challenge is to ensure that our vision does not become compromised when the pavilion gets constructed in real life. And that the way we bridge our Pavilion in the virtual world and the real world would enhance it by adding character. In short, the virtual exhibition is not a means to an end. Trying to compare both exhibitions would be like comparing apples to oranges. They will both serve different purposes, representing the same idea in two ways.”

Watch the preview

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