Mediapolis Arcadia

Instructor: Florian Schätz
In collaboration with: Shirley Lee
National University of Singapore
Year 4 Semester 1, 2017

Arcadia, defined by us as ‘life lived naturally’, was a notion we followed throughout this project in the context of Mediapolis and the future of work, both of which are increasingly saturated and defined by the digital media in our daily routines. As the research progressed, we ended up with 3 concepts that would define our architecture: 
The Collective is the Power;
As a reaction to the site of Mediapolis, the heart of media. It is a metaphor of the current state of media and a dynamic that we wish not to exclude, even as we tackled with issues of the site on a masterplan level. Connecting the Mediapolis site to issues in Singapore and the larger neighbouring region, our proposal critiques the responds to the successes and failures of the current masterplan.
Distance as Power;
With distance signifying a consolidated power. This imbues identity on the context of a ‘non-space’ – where the space is defined by a lack of context, with much of its previous history flattened out. Grappling with such a site, we did numerous massing explorations at 1:50 scale to test how our proposal respond and mend the rifts of the site. Simultaneously, we looked at our programmes and planned our spaces through the viewpoints and narratives of 3 major users of the building: the resident, the start-up founder, and the events visitor. 
Building as the Zone;
With the Zone eluding to a soft power – the power to lure, with the strong and repeated language forming its prominence and character. We interviewed media veterans, start-up founders and venture capitalists to grasp a sense of how our proposal can remain relevant and contribute to Singapore’s media industry. We also visited a co-working space, the Hub, whilst researching on the history of office typology and critiquing the successes and failures of different models. These debates formed the backbone of our proposal of architecture in the future of work. We are influenced by the typology of the courtyard, as seen in Trinity College, as a means of social integration. 

Mediapolis Arcadia 

Arcadic Basic Elements (Slab, Vault & Louvers)

Atrium (open office)

Business Park Storey
1. permanent workspace   2. temporal workspace   3. collaborative space (taking on past precedence of courtyard typology)   4. amenities areas (eg. cafe)
External corridor (tropical facade & vaulting structure)
Mediapolis Section
1. retail   2. business park   3. start-up / collaborative space (taking on past precedence of courtyard typology)   4. lift & circulation core (fire escape) 5. residential area (top 3 floors)   6. main atrium   7. amenities areas (eg. cafe)   8. skylight
Tropical Modularity & Porosity
Our modular systems consist of the floor slab to column module, which is multiplied and slightly modified throughout the building, in addition to the tropical façade module. The porosity offered through the optimised floor slab to column module design allows natural light to penetrate deep within the building. The arches also work to hold up the weight of the building, creating open spaces for collaborative work, as well as a flexibility to modify the modulated floor slabs as needed. The modular tropical façade is designed to provide sun shading and rainwater collection properties, adding diversity and tropical protection to the open-air working spaces.​​​​​​​
Additive Manufacturing
We iterated our floor slab to column and tropical façade modules, all the while experimenting with 3D printing and deliberating on the opportunities the technology offers us in construction. Hence, we foresee our proposal as a 3D printed concrete building. Following our iterative process, our final proposal surprisingly eludes to the Baroque and the Rococo style formally. Despite similarities to these styles that are highly aestheticized and decorated, however, our proposal remains unyieldingly structurally logical. 
As 3D printing quickly integrates itself into the construction industry, our proposal perhaps suggests that as the construction process becomes more automated, there will be a nostalgia for styles that modern architecture has long abandoned – the celebration of the attention on craft and detail that has suddenly become very feasible.

Modularity detail Axonometric

1 Vaulting Structure

13 components to print for a structural vault. 4 components to print for a structural slab

1/2 module of Facade Structure (tropical facade)

A total of 4 separate components to print for 1/2 of the structural facade

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