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Award-winning project at- SIA ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AWARDS 2023

Project: Garden Pod

Project Architect: Ar. Matthew Ye

Project Team: Ar Ho Tzu Yin, Ar. Goh Wei Peng Claire, Yeayeah

Garden Pod is a unique pop-up hotel within Gardens by the Bay with a sculptural form. The upper level of the four duplex units is constructed from 40-foot repurposed shipping containers with rooftop photovoltaic panels Designed with sustainable principles.

The client, Shipping Container Hotel, wanted to design a boutique hotel betting the world status of Gardens by the Bay, made of up-cycled shipping containers, When designing the hotel, the team took inspiration from the incredible views of Serene Gardens. As the garden was to remain open, it was designed for offsite fabrication.The Garden Pod was also designed to complement the sustainability objectives of Gardens by the Bay.

Garden Pod contextualises itself as a sculpture in a garden. The distinctive pinwheel layout allows all four rooms to have views of the surrounding gardens without overlooking one another. The central tower housing the lift also serves as a visual marker for guests and park visitors.

The use of shipping containers and lightweight steel structure allows flexibility for a bespoke design that is easy to deploy and can disassemble and relocate. It proves containers can suit a pop-up hotel by integrating insulation and double-glazed glass to reduce solar gain. The white exterior also helps to reflect heat and keep the rooms cool.

Interior finishes were selected in response to the natural setting. The island kitchen counter rises from the ground as if carved from a marble block Upstairs, the warmth of wood permeates the bedrooms, inviting nature into the living spaces.

As a prototype for future off-grid installations, the team worked with a local start-up Photovoltaic Foundry. Each container is covered with High-Power-Density-Modules that supplies approximately 80% of daily energy consumption.

Garden Pod demonstrates the value of up-cycling and sustainability. In addition to the use of shipping containers, the lift system is also repurposed from a decommissioned Show Unit. By incorporating these elements, manufacturing costs are reduced and the volume of discarded materials is minimised. It is also a platform to showcase made-in-Singapore products to the world, celebrating local artisanal work and crafts.

Jury Citation: The jury commends the architect’s intentional use of this small-scale project to test bed sustainable principles off-site fabrication and efficient on-site assembly. The modular rooms consisting of 40-foot repurposed shipping containers are cleverly arranged in a pin wheel configuration to ensure privacy, customise views and nestie seamlessly into an undulating lawn and curated landscape. The straightforward metal connections, exposed metal details and humble material give the project an appropriate aesthetic, suitable for a pop-up hotel targeted towards younger demographics.

Plan and Diagrams/ Garden Pod

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