Kampung Admiralty has the distinction of being Singapore’s first integrated vertical kampung. A one-stop hub with housing for the elderly and co-located facilities for residents of all ages under one roof, Kampung Admiralty was designed for ease of maintenance and built with sustainable design features. It won World Building of the Year at the 2018 World Architecture Festival, and has also received a number of accolades for its innovative approach.
A Conversation with Yap Chin Beng
Senior Advisor of HDB Yap Chin Beng shares inside stories on how Kampung Admiralty came about.
Kampung Admiralty: Overcoming Design and Construction Challenges
Kampung Admiralty: Promoting Integration and Synergy
Kampung Admiralty: A Socially Vibrant, Resident-Centred Place
Lessons and Insights for Future Integrated Developments
The development of Kampung Admiralty suggests several learning points that would be useful in planning future integrated projects:
1. Carry out more intentional planning and selection of co-locators
- Look for compatible partners at the early stage of town development planning, lest the opportunity is lost if these potential partners have committed to their own individual developments.
- Provide scale to create opportunities for collaboration and co-programming, and amenities to facilitate seniors to lead independent and active lifestyles.
- Integrate healthcare facilities within the same development so that medical staff and volunteers can actively work with senior residents, particularly on chronic disease management; this also eases patient load at hospitals.
- Bigger sites allow more housing units to be integrated into the development, letting more families enjoy the benefits of being co-located with facilities. Providing other flat types for young families also makes the development more vibrant.
- Co-locate child care with senior care facilities to promote inter-generational bonding.
Bonding through inter-generational activities (Source: HDB)
Integrated healthcare (Source: HDB)
2. Observe good universal design principles and user-centric design features
- Be barrier-free and wheelchair-friendly.
- Provide seamless connectivity and plenty of rest-stops.
- Design social communal spaces (such as a community park or 3G playground/fitness corner) to encourage residents to interact daily.
3. Offer shared community spaces
- Provide plenty of shared community spaces to leverage the synergy of co-location, with venues for community engagement and events.
- Encourage seniors to venture out of their homes to interact with other residents by making such community spaces available.
- Include good connectivity to surrounding areas, to help engage other residents in the vicinity.
4. Curate strong co-programming activities
- Co-programming activities should not be left to chance to be developed organically; instead, they should be curated upstream.
- Close coordination amongst agencies is a must. Bring on board facility operators who can propose and implement cross-programming initiatives that capitalise on the synergy of available facilities, and minimise overlaps that might cause confusion and result in wastage.
5. Establish support from co-locating agencies
- Set up a steering committee, well-represented by senior management from the respective co-locating agencies, to oversee the planning and construction of the new development.
- Kampung Admiralty benefited from a Steering Committee which adopted a whole-of-government approach to oversee development.
Lush greenery abounds at Kampung Admiralty (Photo credit: Patrick Bingham-Hall)
Kampung Admiralty: Technology and Sustainable Living
In Kampung Admiralty, a greener, cleaner and more sustainable living environment is created through a number of incorporated features:
Promoting the “Kampung Spirit”
In Kampung Admiralty, co-programming is carried out to encourage elderly residents in the vicinity to lead active and healthy lifestyles, and to stay connected with the community through various activities, such as volunteering.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yap Chin Beng is Senior Advisor (Estate & Corporate) at the Housing and Development Board (HDB), where he has worked for close to 40 years. Prior to July 2017, he was HDB’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Estate & Corporate), overseeing a wide spectrum of functions including public housing policies, special housing programmes, supply of new housing units, planning and management of carparks, industrial and commercial properties, community bonding, corporate strategies, corporate communications, and provision of ICT, legal, audit and financial services. He also shares his expertise in the Centre of Liveable Cities Expert Panel, China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, and advanced training courses.