Spark Architects has envisioned a sustainable floating hawker centre, an open-air complex for street food, for Singapore.
The ‘Solar Orchid’ is a concept for self-contained, solar-powered, floating hawker pods that celebrates a favoured local pass time and “suggests a way to mend the now distant relationship between Singapore and its waterscapes” says Spark.
“Singapore was built on an intimate relationship with the water, which has historically been an artery of culture, commerce and recreation. However, the recent decades of urban development, industrialisation and land reclamation have largely severed this relationship, deleting most of the traditional kampungs and kelongs from the coast, inland water bodies, and sea.”
“Spark’s concept for a floating hawker centre draws on our experience of the city, its culture and heritage, and all that we enjoy about it, to imagine a new relationship with Singapore’s public waterscape. This visionary project imagines a mobile, reconfigurable and sustainable floating hawker centre that could ‘pop up’ in a variety of locations and formats.”
“The Solar Orchid recalls the mobility of the original Singaporean hawker – the mobile street vendor – with self-contained, solar-powered, lightweight floating pods. Each pod accommodates cooking stalls (incorporating built-in exhaust, water, gas, electrical, waste collection and water recycling services) as well as table settings.”
“The protective canopy is an energy-generating inflated ETFE pillow incorporating thin-film photovoltaic cells. It complements the $11 million Singaporean government initiative to develop floating solar islands in Singapore’s reservoirs. The Solar Orchids can be clustered together in various formations to create hawker centres that are able to respond to different locations and conditions. They would leave no trace of their presence due to their self contained nature.”
Project Director: Stephen Pimbley
Team: Lim Wenhui, Peter Morris, Anusha Bajpal, Nanako McIntosh, Chanachai