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Proposals on sustainable rejuvenation wanted for Bukit Timah Fire Station

Site launched as part of global ideas competition, winner to implement proposal
  Published: 04 December 2019

Developers, architects, environmentalists and business owners will get a shot at dreaming up and carrying out their visions to give the historic Bukit Timah Fire Station a new lease of life.

The conserved fire station and its lush green site was launched today under the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group’s ‘Reinventing Cities’ competition, organised in collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

‘Reinventing Cities’ is a global competition meant to serve as a model for cities around the world. It demonstrates how the alliance between cities and businesses can shape the future through the delivery of healthier, greener and economically viable urban development. The inclusion of Bukit Timah Fire Station will see Singapore as the first and only city in Asia to be taking part.

The competition debuted in 2017 with 31 sites from 14 cities. Now in its second run, 25 sites from 9 cities are launching, inviting proposals that are sustainable and transformative in nature. Unique to the competition is its emphasis on real-life projects, where the winning team will be able to implement its proposal.

“Singapore strives to be innovative and sustainable as we plan ahead for the future. So we welcome the opportunity to be the first city in Asia to participate in ‘Reinventing Cities’. We look forward to inventive proposals for this unique site, which is rich in both history and greenery,” said Chief Executive Officer of URA, Lim Eng Hwee.

Bukit Timah Fire Station, which had its main building gazetted for conservation this year, is strategically located at the crossroads of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Park. There are also several World War II heritage landmarks nearby, including the former Ford Factory and Bukit Batok Memorial. The fire station also sits at the intersection of two key recreational corridors with an islandwide reach – the Rail Corridor, a 24km-long former railway line stretching from the north to the south of Singapore, and the Coast-to-Coast Trail, a 36km-long walking and cycling trail stretching from the west to the northeast of Singapore. It is well-served by multiple public bus routes along Upper Bukit Timah Road and is within walking distance of the upcoming Hume Station on the Downtown Line, which will be completed in 2025.

“As the Bukit Timah Fire Station is sited strategically near key recreational corridors such as the Rail Corridor and the Coast-to-Coast Trail, it will provide visitors seamless connectivity to the nearby Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and nature parks. Visitors will get to appreciate nature while learning more about our native biodiversity and the importance of conserving them,” said Chief Executive Officer of NParks, Kenneth Er.

Bidding teams can consider how to repurpose the node to promote healthy living, community interaction and integration with nature. Proposed uses and public spaces should be welcoming, and encourage community bonding and interaction through creative programming. Proposals should leverage on the site’s unique green settings and be sensitive to the surrounding nature and residential areas. The site should also feature innovative environmentally-sustainable urban solutions that strive towards net zero-energy or positive-energy goals under BCA’s Super Low Energy (SLE) programme, which pushes energy efficiency boundaries beyond current best-in-class standards.

“We are looking for creative ways to rejuvenate this conserved State property and to build a vibrant community through the transformation of the site into a gateway node for visitors to enjoy nature, heritage and adventure. The incorporation of environmentally sustainable urban solutions will see the optimisation of the site towards a sustainable future,” said Chief Executive of SLA, Tan Boon Khai.

Hugh Lim, Chief Executive Officer of BCA added, “The Bukit Timah Fire Station project will serve as a platform to further test and push the boundaries of environmentally-sustainable solutions. It will be testament to how buildings – new  and existing – in Singapore can be built to be more climate resilient and energy efficient, amidst the call to mitigate climate change.”

The competition will have two phases. The first phase will comprise the submission of an Expression of Interest from December 2019 to April 2020. Shortlisted teams will then prepare their final proposals for submission with their bid price for submission as part of the second phase, which is targeted to be launched in July 2020. The winning team will be awarded a tenancy of 3+3+3 years for the interim adaptive use of the site. The deadline for applications is 3 April 2020, 5pm [UTC +8].

More information on the ‘Reinventing Cities’ competition, eligibility criteria and the site specific requirements for the Bukit Timah Fire Station can be found at http://www.c40reinventingcities.org/.

 

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