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The proposed renovation of the Clifford Pier and the Customs House and its ancillary waterfront development at Collyer Quay play an important role in connecting the Central Business District of Singapore to its waterfront, while offering a model for the master-plan that will oversee the larger initiative of creating programmatic, recreational, and cultural connections between the region’s urban centres and their adjoining coastlines. In particular, Collyer Quay plays a seminal role in the Bayfront promenade, since it carries with it a certain historical weight, as both the Clifford Pier and the Custom’s Harbour Building already contain a resonant relationship with the city’s past and the memory of its inhabitants. In addition, the adjoining spaces to the north and south of both buildings serve as strong indicators of public potential, creating spaces for retail, commerce, recreation, and leisure alike.
Most of all, we have used this opportunity to create from this proximity to water, a thematic thread linking all the spaces together. Each outdoor room is based on some specific connection to the water –functional and symbolic– and its change of state: from water, to ice, to steam. In turn, we capitalize on this theme to recreate natural analogies on each public space to create rivers, waterfalls, rapids, all of which are delicately calibrated in accordance to the programs they serve: piers, boat landings, pools, and bleachers.
The site strategy, then, is based on a bi-axial organization, with all buildings thrusting themselves on the east-west axis into the water, creating virtual piers that frame pools of water in between. Each of these water courts are organized in accordance with their respective programs. On the north-south axis the entire waterfront development is connected by way of a pedestrian street, linking the various private, commercial/retail and public spaces in a coordinated way on the longitudinal axis. The programmatic organization of the site on the north-south axis is as follows: Boutique Hotel, South Deck, Clifford Pier, North Deck, the Amphi-Pavilion.