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An Old Folk’s Home

Part 1 Project 2011
You Zhi Eugene Tan
National University of Singapore, Singapore
The inevitable onset of old age engenders chronic ailments which require prolonged and
assisted care in order for their effects to be abated. Recognising these conditions, the
Geriatric Treatment Centre for medical tourists is a place where the patient and care-giver
relationship is emphasized and fostered, preparing the pair for eventual medical autonomy at
home.
With the primary demographic of Singapore's Chinatown being older folk, the intervening
Geriatric Treatment Centre will invariably spark an interface between the old-aged tourists
and the elderly residents of Chinatown. Although the program is designated to cater for
medical tourists alone, the aim is to utilise an intensive urban and programmatic analysis to
create Place where both the local residents and tourists may dwell; a home for the old folks.
The area around the site is a cogent trace of Singapore's urban history. Dominating the
skyline are the podium-tower blocks, architectural experiments of the 1970s; symbols of
modern Singapore. Surrounding these pillars of concrete is a sea of shophouses.
Constructed as early as 1840, these row houses are counterpoints to their larger neighbours;
creating urban contrasts of texture, grain and scale.
Through the invention of a new morphology, my intervention aspires to be a healing
connection, mediating between the shophouse typology and the larger podium-tower blocks.
Within this shell, a sanctuary is created within the busy urban context, appealing to the
ingrained sensitivities of both demographics. Space and form thus emerge as the paramount
elixirs.

You Zhi Eugene Tan

2011
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