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The Garrison State or Singapore’s Conundrum

Part 2 Project 2012
Gong Yao Chua
National University of Singapore, Singapore

The thesis is the study of Singapore's manifestation as a garrison state in the Straits following a unique history of creating an autonomous city-state from its neighbors. By embracing Singapore’s independent history of transformation through engineering and “practical” problem solving, the logical consequence of sea level rise, storm surge and environmental change are taken as both crisis and opportunity. The consequence as played out in the design proposition is both absurd and real; a pinnacle of infrastructural might manifest in a storm surge barrier of realizable proportion is imagined, an underground third link providing footings for the barrier above, connects Malaysia’s eastern coast to Singapore's northern settlements, and a mangrove Bi-National Park mitigates threats both real and perceived. Through protecting many of Singapore’s most valuable assets: Changi International Airport, Sembawang Shipyard, and New Towns of Punggol, the infrastructural proposal at once insures Singapore’s own survivability by damning herself within and yet ironically opening herself to Malaysia, her often contentious neighbor to the North. A series of operable flood protection barriers are arrayed across the waterscape intertwining infrastructure, engineering, water, shipping and nature. In an uncanny but entirely logical design, infrastructure, ambition and engineering prowess merges with the natural, hyrdoscape and landscape to solve Singapore’s future threats in a architecture of seeming contradictions yet entirely necessary for Singapore's future.

Gong Yao Chua


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