Step into a fantastical world where you will be surrounded by dragonflies, bees and butterflies – inspired by the flora and fauna of Punggol, this is Land Design One’s winning design for the PLAY@Punggol design competition that seeks to enliven public spaces along Punggol Waterway with delightful installations.
We catch up with the winning teams and other competition participants on their designs for the third location along Punggol Waterway, near the upcoming Punggol Regional Sports Centre.
Winning design – Flora and Fauna Kinetics Playscape (Location 3)
By Land Design One Pte Ltd
Team: Kathleen Lacsina, Isabel Allana Bautista, Brian Baker, Neal Samac
Image credit: Land Design One.
Embracing the flora and fauna in Punggol’s landscape, the design of this installation invites people to immerse themselves into an alternate natural world. From beautiful features of bees, dragonflies, and butterflies, this playscape harnesses light and kinetic play, offering a magical experience that encourages people to slow down, savour and enjoy our natural environment in new and different ways.
The jury was impressed by the design: “The design captures the essence of the various species of flora and fauna in Punggol. The kinetic play integrated in the design is a good example of how design can provide a dynamic and engaging play experience that encourages physical activity, creativity, and social interaction across ages.”
Two members of the team from Land Design One, Isabel (on the left) and Kathleen.
What was the inspiration behind your idea?
Isabel: The site itself felt isolated from its surroundings. Given Punggol’s rich flora and fauna, we wanted to connect the space more with its surroundings by creating an environment that draws from the natural world.
Tell us more about your design.
Isabel: The bee, dragonfly and butterfly sculptures reflect some of the insects that Punggol already has. People can play with a mechanism that help make the wings of the butterflies and dragonflies flutter. These can be fitted with LED lights to enhance the installation and lighting for the area at night. Incorporating plants also serves to contribute to the biodiversity of the area and provide an additional educational element.
The bees, butterflies and dragonflies that could be introduced as part of the installation design. Image credit: Land Design One.
Why did you decide to join the competition?
Isabel: I was involved in various playground design projects. I see this as an extension of my interest in exploring new ways for us to play. I’ve also always been interested in contributing to how we can make our public spaces more meaningful. The competition offered a wonderful opportunity to further my interests and passion.
Other notable submissions
Three other submissions were also recognised – submitted by a team from TAt Architects and Kenneth Chen and Charis Boh. A team from RSP Architects & Engineers also submitted designs for all three locations.
Fly with Me Hor! @ Punggol (First runner-up – Location 3)
By TAt Architects
Team: Lee Tat Haur, Tham Xin Kai, Oh Ahrum, Bronwyn Tan, Carissa Chin
Image credit: TAt Architects.
Inspired by bird singing clubs that are a common sight around many housing estates and parks in Singapore, the design of the installation embraces this tradition, creating a cosy space for bird lovers and the community to come together.
Explaining their idea further, Tat Haur shares: “The team envisages the bird-inspired installation as an educational platform for the public, providing ways for people to learn more about our birds and nature by encouraging interactive play through the kinetic installation. The tree roots benches also function as a space for personal contemplation and for others to enjoy the beautiful Punggol Waterway.”
Magic of the Mangroves (Second runner-up – Location 3)
By Kenneth Chen, Charis Boh
Image credit: Kenneth and Charis.
The installation serves as an experiential poem designed to reflect the mangrove roots emerging from the swampland. Beyond shade and rest, the installation offers resting places for people, a fun jungle-gym experience and it comes alive at night with special lighting.
Elaborating further on their idea, Kenneth shares: “In the past, the mangroves were of particular importance to the inhabitants of Punggol, offering protection from the tides and providing a habitat for living. We were inspired by the form of the mangroves – unique in itself – and wanted to create an installation that could convey not only the form, but also serve to remember the past. Our installation is designed to evoke a certain aura and magical feel when people interact with it and view it from afar.”
How Now Brown Cow? (Commendation – all 3 locations)
By RSP Architects & Engineers Pte Ltd
Team: Mark Wong, Kristine Tagaban, Lai Yann Ting, Madeni Jais
Image credit: RSP Architects & Engineers.
Playing on the wild cow of the nearby Coney Island, the designs of the installations envisioned for all three locations of the competition presents a series of interactive art sculptures and pieces. With some pieces tapping on Augmented Reality, it is hoped that people are encouraged to further explore, learn, and imagine the many stories and heritage of Punggol, from the past, to present and the future.
Explaining their idea further, Mark shares: “We imagined creating ‘historical’ vignettes of the Punggol story that can somehow come alive and be rewritten through residents’ active interactions to the pieces in both the physical and digital realms. Through the installations in each location, we hope that people can use these open-ended spaces to create new meaning and understand their neighbourhood stories as they and the Punggol area continue to evolve over time.”
About the competition
The PLAY@Punggol design competition was launched on 3 February 2023, inviting Singapore-based practising designers to design installations at three locations along Punggol Waterway, to help create more interesting and memorable public spaces.
Map showing the three locations for the designed installations along Punggol Waterway for the competition.
With future enhancements and developments coming up around the area such as the Punggol Digital District and the Punggol Heritage Trail Park, the activated public spaces along Punggol Waterway can become new focal points for communities in the area.
The winning design ideas for the three locations were awarded to teams from DP Green and Land Design One, from a total of 81 submissions received for the competition. Another seven teams and individuals were also recognised for their designs.
The competition is organised by URA and is supported by the National Parks Board and JTC Corporation, with the Singapore Institute of Architects as the appointed Promoter. It provides an opportunity for practising designers to contribute towards the design and activation of public spaces in Singapore.
The installations for the three locations based on the winning designs are expected to be completed by the first half of 2024.
Thumbnail image credit: Land Design One.