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Part 1 Project 2010
Hui En Vanessa Baey
National University of Singapore Singapore
Fort Canning Park is positioned in the heart of the city yet as its name state, like a fort, it detaches itself. The site holds a strong historical background going back to 1300AD before the British colonisation. Now the site fills with images of the past. From the Christian cemetery that flanks both sides the Fort Canning Centre to the Fort gate that was part of the fortress that once protected Singapore. The present site also constitute of the Ministry of Marriage and cultural activities within the Fort Canning Centre. This site has a strong presence of the living and dead that runs parallel to each other. Yet the living is oblivious to this strong presence of the site ignoring the deeply rooted spirit of the place. The connection of the site with the city is lacking yet this site holds historical value to the country.

The program given is to design a biodiversity museum. It is like a display of death and people shun away from this perception. However when death is appreciated, it becomes a continuous cycle that brings knowledge from the dead specimens to the living and this knowledge can be given back to prolong the living.

My intention is to change the perception of death so people do not fear the deeply rooted spirit of the place and the meaning of biodiversity museum instead appreciates life through knowledge of death.

My strategy is to create a continuation through a constant cycle of renewal. By understanding the concept of a moebius strip, with its infinite loop and endless cycle, to begin exploration of how spaces with 2 strip of circulation that does not meet create a chronological sequence of unfolding events. How the spaces of private, public and shared spaces can flow continuous yet the private and public circulation remains independent of each other. Exploration of the moebius is to re-enforce this cycle of renewal despite the display of dead specimens, people will constantly rejuvenate through indoor and outdoor spaces, connection to the site and the city and the upward movement towards the light.

Hui En Vanessa Baey

Vanessa Baey’s project entitled Reincarnation touches on the spirit of a place, not in a literal sense i.e. surrounding graveyards of Singapore’s colonial past but on a deeper level seen and felt in her sombre, subterranean museum experience. There is a preoccupation in exploring the dichotomies of heavy and lightweight, open and enclosed, light and shadows, movement and materiality. She finds parallels between the “dead” specimens on exhibit and the tourists that frequent the historic site that is Fort Canning Hill. Situated in the heart of the city and yet barely employed, the park is in need of sensitive solutions such as Baey’s unique proposition in hopes of restoring the hill’s significance to the city and its citizens.

Alan Woo

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture
National University of Singapore


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