Lines of Life; The Future of The Rail Corridor
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Published: January 25, 2016

admin | Article | 25 January, 2016

    The authorities asked for proposals that would transform a former train line into one that will integrate seamlessly with its surroundings and continue to contribute to its immediate environment in the long term. The Nikken Team Concept responded with a plan that will be flexible in terms of implementation, filled with Green areas, walkways for those on foot and specific cycling paths, woven together so that they can exist and blend simultaneously with each other. Thus this will give the 24 kilometres-long former Railway Corridor an unprecedented community open space, spanning across the country, with the Tanjong Pagar Railway station in the south, to the Woodlands Checkpoint in the north, with 10 key activity nodes across.

    Seamless and connected path system for different Rail Corridor users. (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    Seamless and connected path system for different Rail Corridor users. (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    Platforms’ offering different amenities (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    Platforms’ offering different amenities (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    The proposed Master Plan has a structured path system that caters to different users and site constraints, a planting strategy applicable to different habitat groups, as well as detailed concepts of improving accessibility, provision of amenities and the choice of material for the proposed trail throughout the length of the Corridor.

    The winning project, Lines of Life, will integrate the communities along the Rail Corridor into its design, allowing for greater interaction between this public asset and its greater urban context. Lines of Life aim to preserve and reintegrate the existing Green areas into a relaxed extension of modern life. The proposal will weave the communities on both sides of the pathway—many of whom will be from the estimated one million who live, work and go to school in the immediate vicinity— into the life of the rail corridor by providing a continuous high quality public space, adding to the quality of life in Singapore, as well as acting as a catalyst to the development and community bonding of the disused rail corridor. The team also included ideas on how the community can continue to be involved in the post development of the Corridor to foster a sense of community ownership and civic pride and suggestions on the use of modern mobile technology and apps that can enhance the user experience.

    Quality living next to the Rail Corridor (Image ©MKPL/Turenscape Team)

    Quality living next to the Rail Corridor (Image ©MKPL/Turenscape Team)

    The winning proposal is built around core values of Space, Nature, Time and People. Space; to enhance the value of the area, Nature; by building on its natural environment without disturbing much of the surrounding, Time; by remembering the journey of the space through its existence in the different years and People; by connecting the various communities who will potentially use the space and contribute to its revival. The team has put nature at the forefront of its design ideas through four landscape strategies: a Grassland, a Rainforest, a Garden / Urban Park and a Wetland. Platforms with amenities will be created to serve as rest areas for those utilising the route.

    Recapturing history, heritage and connectivity of the Rail Corridor – Concept design for new bridge across Hillview Road. (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    Recapturing history, heritage and connectivity of the Rail Corridor – Concept design for new bridge across Hillview Road. (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    A community space for both relaxation and adventure. (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    A community space for both relaxation and adventure. (Image © Nikken Sekkei)

    The team also proposed that the eight stretches be differentiated with varying characteristics and activities along the corridor, allowing for a varied user experience. Along with the themes, ten activity nodes are proposed such as the Community Cave under the PIE viaduct at Mayfair Park, which includes a rock climbing wall that can be repurposed in the future. As a way to encourage more visitors to utilise the space, the team proposed the introduction of 122 access points along the corridor, immediately improving the accessibility of the place. With the removal of much of the railway’s equipment and tracks, bringing along with it some sense of nostalgia, the Master Plan attempts to preserve the history and heritage of the place through the reuse of the buildings in the area and the restoration of its existing artefacts and structures.

    Map of Rail Corridor key activity nodes and special interest areas.(Image © Urban Redevelopment Authority)

    Map of Rail Corridor key activity nodes and special interest areas.(Image © Urban Redevelopment Authority)

    Written By : Sarah AK

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