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Under the Living Roof

There is hardly a quieter and more intimate space than retreating and exhaling under water; after the last bubble rises, the resonance of one’s heartbeat grows like a warming hug. Through the rippling surface, sun rays soften and dance with floating greenery, sparkling through constellations of duckweed, nudging waltzing hyacinths to reveal the occasional burst of a flowering water lily.

To recreate this intimate retreat in the bustling heart of the city, we propose to float a living pond above Raffles Place, letting duckweed, water lettuces, hyacinths and lilies provide shade and shelter for the architectural programmatic spaces below. This ephemeral living ecosystem of aquatic plants forms the roof of the pavilion.

A modular tent system with regularly-spaced trusses forms the backbone of the structure. A layer of draping wire mesh forms a secondary support structure upon which clear PVC sheets are draped and rolled to contain water for the floating ecosystem. Overflow points are carefully placed to coincide with landscape areas on the ground level. Small fish and mosquito pellets can be introduced into the floating pond to prevent mosquito breeding.

A waterproof plywood base topped with vinyl tiles is proposed for the flooring. The exhibition spaces are left wall-less, with some partitions created by hanging air plants and potted plants.

In collaboration with BASE6.

2016
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