On Track Singapore: Many Architectures, One City
Master of Architecture
The scholarly interest is the sway singular architectures can have on the collective aesthetic of a generic city: How to exploit this capacity and better orchestrate an impact? The obsession is with Singapore — a city Rem Koolhaas describes as “all foreground and no background,” without geometry, fabric or legible urban form that physically defines the city’s aesthetics. Singapore is necessarily a sum of its architectures, and is still waiting for a greater aesthetic to emerge from its heterogeneous collection. The initiative: to revitalize the former Malayan rail lands, a site spanning the full width of the country. The plan follows Singapore’s recent practice: building distinct, free-style architectures on shifting sands — only this time anchored by a formless, yet permanent and straightforward high-speed axis that induces continuity and reinforces the island’s status as a singular, cohesive entity. Only extreme differentiation, held in tension by the thinnest infrastructural line, can induce a forthright sense of direction in a capitalist city that must necessarily adopt multiple architectural solutions.