Orchard Road

Singapore

Competition Entry 2006

Orchard Road in Singapore should be a destination, not a thoroughfare.

Shopping is the most pervasive form of urbanism which has infiltrated, colonized, and even replaced many aspects of urban life. Everything from town centres to train stations and airports is becoming shaped by shopping. Shopping is now one of the principal experiences of the city. Shopping is competitive within cities – between various shopping malls and department stores – and between city centres and suburbs. It is even more competitive internationally between cities.

Orchard Road provides a unique Singapore style of shopping. Expensive brand shops and department stores mix with very small scale retail, and significant hotels engage the road. Orchard Road can provide many of the amenities of mall shopping. To some extent Orchard Road compares with the great shopping streets of the world, and in others it tries to sustain a more American model of shopping. Its population, building density, mobility and public transportation lead to a natural vibrancy.

In order to compete with other international shopping venues, Orchard Road must become a world-famous destination with a genuine tropical feel, rich landscapes and beautiful shops. It must make shopping, dining and staying a unique and comfortable experience.

This proposal has utilised a Palette of architectural, urban forms and signals to achieve this goal, among which is the strength of the black and white theme unique to Singapore. A range or urban equipment and horticultural structures enhance the street experience. The ‘Singapore Hub’, “Chingay dragon”, and youth park along with open green spaces such as the family park, mark a wide and varying series of gestures.

These elements come together in making Orchard Road a destination, not a throughfare.