Purcell has partnered up with a Singapore-based architect MKPL, and landscape architect in Beijing to deliver an imaginative proposal for the former railway line running through Singapore. The Singapore Rail Corridor (SRC) proposal will transform the line into a range of community facilities including recreation, social activities and improved landscaping.
The Rail Corridor marks the principal north-south route across Singapore Island and it formed the backbone of the trade links between Malaysia and the docks on the south coast of Singapore and from there to the rest of the World. It therefore has huge significance but as a rail line it is redundant, having been superceded by air and sea. Today, it is a linear park of some 25km and includes a rich habitat for animal and plant species. The challenge was therefore how to convey that significance whilst leaving it, so far as possible, in its natural state.
The award-winning design solution was to apply a “light touch” and to simply retain the tell-tale elements that remain – short sections of track, a bridge, rail workers’ huts, signposts - but most of all the terminal station at Tahjong Pagar, which is to be adapted for community use for a variety of functions and to build a new MTR station beneath it. The old station building thus becomes an important public building once again, which by happy coincidence is a significant piece of architecture in its own right. By combining these functions together with interpretation of the SRC as a whole, so it has an eminently sustainable new use and one which is compatible with its original function.