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Resisting the Generic Empire

Part 2 Project 2006
Yi Cheng Pan
Architectural Association, UK
An ambitious masterplan that collapsed in 1996 will be reused on the 139ha Marina Bay land of Singapore- this time repackaged with a plane of spectacular skyscrapers.

Confronting the imminent homogenity formed by the endless proliferation of a single type and its inevitable, total reliance on the precarious global market, a strategy of distributive inversion is applied to tranform the dominant Skyscraper type.

This not only releases the ground plane for immediate activation of smaller developments but also creates multiple clustered volume for increased public/private partnership, hence cultivating Difference through the reintroduction and coexistence of diverse types and stakeholders.

Yi Cheng Pan

Pan’s questioning of Singapore’s addictive reliance on the proliferation of the ubiquitous high-rise type confronts the acute inability of the state to imagine any new city that is not populated by high-rises.

Rethinking this dominant type inevitably raises questions of control, flexibility, difference and participation- and most acutely the need to envision an instrumentally flexible type that promotes difference for a diverse constituency of stake holders.

Does the relinquishment of total control on an urban plan equate to the abdication of responsibility for urbanity? If so, what are the tools that are available to sustain typological control and freedom?

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