Archifest ‘2013

Singapore’s very own architecture festival that seeks to celebrate architectural and ID works produced from the island country’s stables kicked off last week and runs all the way to mid-October. It coincides with the more ambitious World Architecture festival, that is today on its Day 3. The Archifest consists of awards, a conference, a pavilion that acts as a base of the festival and of course tours organised to recently completed or good works across the tiny country.

SIA, the Singapore Institute of Architects, organises the festival to promote architectural bonhomie, give away a few awards and work on its ambitions of making Singapore an architecture capital of the world!

The theme of the festival this year is “Small is beautiful”, and indeed it is. The pavilion, a product of a design competition, won by RSP btw, focussed on small or minimum wastage by using the often overlooked elements of the construction process like scaffolding, as its main theme. The light and airy pavilion treads softly on the Dhoby Ghaut green, celebrating the various nuts and bolts that go into building, well a building. For landscape, the obvious bonsai that are small went on display. Am not a big fan on bonsai but for those who are, here are a few images of the spectacle.

Art work used in the pavilion too commemorated the act of construction, the act of putting together, joinery!

What I found extremely interesting as an idea was the ‘pop-up library’ in the pavilion that housed books recommended by creative professionals in Singapore that inspire them. The books procured by the National library are free for browsing. It was interesting for me to see how books on fiction, travel, fashion, art and even business(!) inspire architects. Some titles I found were fantastic as I browsed through while hanging around at the pavilion.

Winning competition entries of recent projects commissioned by SIA were on display as were tidbits of the newest sensation on the block, 3d printing! The Wisma Geylang Serai Competition winning entry, a communal building for the Malays caught my interest among the others. I liked how they propagated the traditional sense of Malay construction with a more inherently modern design. As for the 3d printing, it is definitely a phenomenon to watch out for!

On the cons, what would have been good is if the pavilion somehow mitigated the unforgiving tropical heat. One really begins to melt if sitting around the pavilion during the day, the evenings though are a different story and are possibly the better time to visit.








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