Mar - Apr 2016
Nikken Sekkei announced as master planner for Singapore’s Rail Corridor
After shortlisting five design teams in an open first stage and following a rigorous evaluation process by the 12-member evaluation panel of experts led by Ng Lang, CEO of Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Nikken Sekkei-led design team was announced as the master plan winner of the Rail Corridor Request for Proposal (RFP) for its second stage concept master plan proposal. Titled Lines of Life, the 24-kilometre long former Railway Corridor is set to become an unprecedented community open space spanning the entire nation of Singapore. The awarded team is tasked with carrying out the preliminary design and feasibility study of an initial 4-kilometre signature stretch of the corridor.
The URA praised the proposal for its “strong vision and robust concept master plan supported by well-thought-out design strategies to create extraordinary community-centric spaces and experiences throughout the length of the Corridor,” noting that the team took a “very well-structured and methodical design approach, with its concept designs thoroughly addressing all aspects of the RFP brief and relating strongly to the planning and design goals.”
Evaluation panel member, Prof Wulf Daseking from the University of Freiburg, commended the Nikken team concept master plan for its farsightedness. Wataru Tanaka, director of Integrated Public Design Studio, Nikken Sekkei Ltd said, “We captured this design opportunity, not merely as [a] landscape design assignment, but more as [a] public space design project, where we took [a] design approach to integrate the communities [that] the Rail Corridor touches into the design itself to make a truly meaningful public asset within a broader urban context.”
Project in brief
The Rail Corridor RFP asked for a master plan to transform the former railway line stretching from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in the south to Woodlands Checkpoint in the north—from a utilitarian functional corridor into an inspired public space spanning the country, and for specific design solutions for 10 key nodes along its length.
Lines of Life
The project sets out a vision for a seamless public space, the preservation and reintegration of existing Green areas, and a relaxed extension of modern life. The proposal devises a strategy of design criteria and objectives to make the Rail Corridor inspiring, accessible, comfortable, memorable, eco-friendly and growing/evolving. It ‘stitches’ the nation with Lines of Life, not just from north to south, but from west to east as well, and weaves the communities on both sides into the life of the Rail Corridor by providing a continuous public space. This adds to the high quality of life in Singapore, as well as acts as a catalyst to development and community bonding.