Proposed Development of St John's Home for Elderly Persons

St John's Home for Elderly Persons provides shelter and care for the physical and spiritual needs of such elderly persons who have no home or suitable accommodation and no children or close relatives who have adequate facilities  resources to look after them. The Home is open to all regardless of race and creed.  The Home's current licensed capacity is 102. 

The Home began operations at its present location at 69 Wan Tho Avenue on 21 December 1958 on 12,224 square meter of leased land. The lease expired in December 2015 and a new lease for thirty years from January 2016 was secured for 3,300 square meters of land on part of the existing site. The licensed capacity will be increased from 102 to 150 residents. The Home would therefore require a new building to accommodate a larger capacity on a smaller site. 

As part of Singapore Institute of Architects(SIA) Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) initiative, together with St John’s Home for Elderly Persons,  a two-stage Design Competition was organised to generate new and fresh ideas and secure the best design for its Future-Ready Home for the Aged, providing facilities and services not only to its present residents but to the elderly living in the surrounding precincts i.e. Sennett Estate, Potong Pasir, Joo Seng and Bidadari Town and the wider community.   

The St John’s Home for Elderly Persons design competition attracted 52 entries from which 7 schemes were shortlisted to proceed to Stage 2. The selection of the winning scheme was done through rigorous evaluation and Judging Panel assessment sessions.  Aamer Architects was selected as the winning scheme for this design competition. 


Shortlisted submissions by:

  • ADDP Architects LLP
  • DDA Resources Architects In Collaboration With EHKA Studio
  • Formwerks Architects LLP
  • ipli Architects
  • Kite Studio Architecture Ltd
  • WOHA Architects Pte Ltd 


The Jury Panel comprises:

  • Theodore Chan, Immediate Past President, SIA
  • Andrew Lioe Hui Siang, Vice Chairman, St John's Home
  • David Alexander Ong, Management Committee Member, St John's Home
  • Rita Soh, Director, RDC Architects Pte Ltd
  • Wong Sweet Fun, Deputy Chairperson Medical Board, Yishun Community Hospital


Juries' Citation

This winning scheme is set apart from the rest by its compact building mass and distinctive facade character. Its relatively small building footprint allows for greater use of the ground floor area for open programs and flexibility, as well as efficient core placement. With the ground space freed up, the chapel at the ground floor is designed to enhance the sense of entry and identity of place with its bold roof projection, while acting as a green roof deck for the spaces above. 

Deeper review of the spatial organisation of the typical floor plan shows the residential units angled, offset and carefully juxtaposed to produce a serrated plan profile, which helps to address privacy, planting, views and climate. Interior spaces of the bedroom units are well resolved, with thoughtful consideration for the lifestyle of the residents. 

Overall, the scheme manages a fine balance of realistic constructability, with a well crafted vision of a place which is definitive of the future St John's Home.