Wisma Geylang Serai Design Competition

Saturday 13 July 2013 - The winning design for the Wisma Geylang Serai by Design-Environment Group Architects was announced at the Wisma Geylang Serai Design Competition – Exhibition of Entries Award Ceremony on 13 July 2013.

The selection of the winning scheme is based not only on the conceptual design and the aesthetic, but also on factors like creative response to the urban site context, environmental response strategies to climatic conditions, functions, use of public spaces, buildability and constructivity. The design featuring universally recognizable double-pitch roofed 'houses' artfully composed in an informal manner atop a rectilinear podium creates an image which is almost primordial and yet contemporary.  The conceptual strategy is straightforward, yet, there is definite richness in the design which belies effectiveness of the design strategy in addressing complex programmatic relationships.  The design picks up on the roof-line of the adjacent Geylang Serai market and creates an elegant, well-proportioned scale and a character of rhythm along Geylang Road, thus, adding greatly to the vicinity's urban character and the experience of street life.

The winning scheme is an engaging and creative interpretation of the brief, which had posed an interesting question of what it is to the community, vis-a-vis architectural design, to embrace contemporary and progressive aspirations and be culturally relevant at the same time.  It would certainly resonate universally with the young and the old, the Malay community and the community at large. 

About Wisma Geylang Serai Design Competition

Planned as a new growth area under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Master Plan 2008, Paya Lebar Central is envisaged to be developed into a lively regional commercial centre with a distinct cultural identity and attractive public spaces.
The civic centre Wisma Geylang Serai (WGS) is planned as a community focal node within the Geylang Serai Precinct, to provide spaces and facilities for a wide range of community activities and services. A public plaza within the compound of WGS will cater to cultural events such as performances, as well as community events, such as festive activities and bazaars.  WGS will be a welcoming social space for community to interact and bond.

In February 2013, Peoples’ Association together with the Singapore Institute of Architects launched an architectural design competition for the development of Wisma Geylang Serai (WGS). WGS has been envisioned as a forward-looking and cosmopolitan civic centre which will celebrate the heritage of Geylang Serai, and will be a window into the rich Malay arts and culture. It will be a landmark in Geylang Serai precinct with a community lifestyle, providing spaces and facilities for a wide range of community activities and services. It was felt that this landmark project is best achieved through a design competition process.

The two-stage design competition for WGS attracted 56 entries. It is one of the highest levels of interest registered for design competitions facilitated by SIA, reflecting great interest in a project of such significance. The selection went through a rigorous process of technical evaluation, followed by Jury session to shortlist 5 best schemes to proceed to stage 2. The shortlisted schemes were further developed taken into consideration inputs from the Jury Panel. Stage 2 was another rigorous technical evaluation and jury session to select the winning scheme.  followed by final evaluation by a credible Jury Panel, comprising architects, community leaders and users.