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Old March 26th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #1
RafflesCity
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Alsop's makeover for Singapore River spot nears completion

Adaptive restoration project

Located by the Singapore River, Clarke Quay consists of old shophouses and warehouses that have now been turned into a food and entertainment district.

As part of its makeover, Alsop has designed an innovative climate-controlled system of canopies that provide shelter and keep the temperature cool.

Some pics:







Clarke Quay makeover

UK architecture firm's plan includes Teflon roof over streets, platforms over river

By Janice Wong

VISITORS to Clarke Quay in mid-2006 will be greeted by a gigantic roof covering the streets of this 23,000 sq m site.



Daytime visitors need not be burned by the sun, drenched by rain or squint.

British architecture firm Alsop, undertaking the $50-million makeover project, will have the streets there roofed over with a translucent foil membrane, ethylene tetra flurorethylene, more commonly known as Teflon.

This is the first time that Teflon is being used on such a grand scale in Asia.

For a cooling effect, fans will blow fine mists to give an air-conditioned feel.

Landlord CapitaLand's plans to improve the physical environment include turning the riverside location into a garden of sorts with flower-inspired structures.

The Singapore River will be dotted with platforms, evocative of lilypads, for dining while brightly coloured canopies shaped like the petals of bluebells will overhang the river along the water's edge.

The lilypads will sit above the ground and extend up to 1.5m over the river.

Also, if CapitaLand's proposal to the authorities gets the green light, visitors using the Clarke Quay MRT station would need only to stroll along a bridge over the river to reach Clarke Quay.

The $7 million first phase, involving the exterior, will be completed in December.

Business will operate as usual throughout the refurbishment.

CapitaLand commissioned Alsop for the project because of the firm's "wow" ideas.

This is its first major project in Asia.

Founder Will Alsop, who designed the North Greenwich underground station in London, has a reputation of a maverick for his avant garde ideas.

CapitaLand described the firm's design as "a bold statement that blends innovation with the history of Clarke Quay". The site, consisting of five blocks once housing 60 godowns and shophouses which are now restored to their 19th-century style, will have more retail options.

Some corridors and store rooms will be converted into retail space, increasing the leasable area from 230,000 sq ft to 270,000 sq ft.

Clarke Quay has already attracted tenants such as IndoChine's Michael Ma.

A new entertainment block is being built along River Valley Road to create a stronger presence away from the river.

Joining Singapore's first reverse-bungee ride, which is already operating, as entertainment are regular free shows such as busking and street theatre.

Since its opening in 1993, Clarke Quay has undergone many revamps.

It went from being a family and tourist-oriented retail and restaurant complex to targeting nightspots, tourist souvenir shops and factory outlets.

Its popularity has waxed and waned over the years.

But its management now thinks that it has found a winning combination.

A CapitaLand spokesman said: "We aim to develop Clarke Quay to the stage where it is a must-do and must-see for all - Singaporeans and tourists alike.

"We are seeking to create Singapore's premier food, fashion and leisure precinct."





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Old March 26th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #2
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The Quay to being cool
Climate-control system for walkways part of Clarke Quay's $80m revamp

By Krist Boo

COME rain or shine, a visit to Clarke Quay will soon be a cool, dry affair.

As part of its $80 million makeover, the riverside attraction is fitting its two main walkways with a climate-control system of silent blowers and canopies.

Together with trees and a courtyard fountain, the set-up will reduce the afternoon heat and keep the temperature at a balmy 28 deg C without resorting to air-conditioning.

Clarke Quay landlord CapitaLand hopes that the system - already used in Britain - will recreate the feel of a 'summer day' in London's bustling Oxford Street.

The main heat-busting device will be the canopies, dubbed 'Angels'. They will keep out the heat but still let the light through, while fans keep a breeze moving through the walkways.



The Angels, which will be completed by August next year, are being erected in response to surveys which found that people avoided Clarke Quay when it was wet, or too hot.

The Angels will be the next stage in the upgrading and weatherproofing of Clarke Quay, following the installation of the striking pod-like riverside alfresco dining areas there last year.



While the aesthetic value of these pods, known as 'Blue Bells and Lilypads', has drawn negative comments from visitors, there has also been good feedback, said Mr Pua Seck Guan, CapitaLand's chief executive for retail.

Already, tenants have reported a one-third spike in business since the pods were completed.

American restaurant Hooters said human traffic has doubled. Its chief executive, Mr C.S. Chua, who has been a tenant at the quay for nine years, said that before the pods went up, few customers ventured outdoors in the daytime.

'It was a ghost town in the afternoons,' he said. 'Now, many of my customers prefer to sit outside - in the afternoon - along the river.'

The changes have also boosted demand. More than 80 per cent of the 280,000 sq ft lease space at the quay has filled up, despite rental having doubled to between $9 and $15 per sq ft for a riverfront spot.

According to Mr Pua, there is 'a queue of businesses' hoping to land the remaining space.

Ms Serene Lai, director of pool bar Baize & China One, which opened 10 months ago, said the rental is 'not an issue' so long as the place draws the crowds.

Mr Chua said: 'I have not regretted that I stayed on. As long as they can bring in more people, I don't mind paying the money.'

Whatever the quay may lack in the aesthetic department, the pods have marked a revival in Clarke Quay's fortunes over the last decade or so.

Back in 1993, the area housing conservation shophouses and godowns underwent a $220 million makeover, which opened to much fanfare.

It was then a festival market, offering a mix of pubs and restaurants, a carnival ride, the Satay Club and a fluorescent-lit food court.

But the 'pasar malam' tenant mix failed. Rent was low, tenants hard to come by and Capita- Land 'had no bargaining power', said Mr Pua.

This time round, Clarke Quay is focusing on being a yuppie hangout by making a name for itself as a place for trendy and upmarket dining and entertainment, he said.

It will devote 60 per cent of its space to restaurants and eateries, 30 per cent to entertainment such as pubs, and 10 per cent to offices.

It has already netted two anchor drawcards: French topless revue Crazy Horse and London club import the Ministry of Sound.


some pics by babystan03







Images from a Chinese newspaper:



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Old March 26th, 2006, 06:46 PM   #3
satit28
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that's one ultra-cool makeover.................
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Old March 29th, 2006, 06:01 AM   #4
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very pleasant street cover without actually creating a blocked-in feel. Cool!
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Old March 29th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #5
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Very cool concept, better than Far East Square!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:22 AM   #6
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Great work
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Old March 30th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #7
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Crazy Horse and Ministry Of Sound are there.

Now so lively.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 03:20 AM   #8
InitialD18
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Will alsop is one of my fav arch ...
that is one super nice makeover at clark quay
i think this could create a ultra nice micro climate for singapore in the
summer.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harkerb
very pleasant street cover without actually creating a blocked-in feel. Cool!
in fact, the shop units on the ground floor now have larger floor space, by having these glass extensions which also allow people to look-in, and the glass doesnt detract from the building facade:



A Moroccan restaurant:

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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:06 PM   #10
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That's a really cool way to cool things down. I hope to see this in person soon.
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