The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced today the five teams shortlisted to participate in the second stage of the Rail Corridor Request for Proposal (RFP). The URA also announced further details of the requirements in Stage 2, including a feasibility study and preliminary design for a four kilometre-long signature stretch to be undertaken by the successful team of the Concept Master Plan.
Strong interest in the Rail Corridor project
The URA launched the ‘Rail Corridor – An Inspired and Extraordinary Community Space’ RFP on 18 March 2015, inviting design professionals to develop a Concept Master Plan and Concept Proposals for Singapore’s Rail Corridor.
64 teams responded with their submissions in the Stage 1 Pre-Qualification exercise that closed on 15 April 2015. The teams comprise local and international landscape architectural and architectural firms, including tie-ups between local and international firms.
The 64 submissions were assessed by an Evaluation Panel on whether they had a clear and compelling narrative and a rigorous design approach towards achieving the planning and design goals for the Rail Corridor, as well as whether they demonstrated a good and realistic understanding of the constraints and opportunities that exist along the Corridor.
As a significant part of the Rail Corridor experience will be defined by its landscapes, the Evaluation Panel also paid particular attention to the landscape architectural strength of the design teams in addition to their architectural capabilities. Following a rigorous evaluation process which included interviews, five teams were shortlisted.
See Annex A [PDF, 17kb] for the five teams which each comprise a lead landscape architect and a lead design architect, and (if the leads are not from local firms) their Singapore partners.
“We want to thank all participating teams for the tremendous effort put into their submissions. The quality, diversity and creativity of the participating teams and their proposals are very impressive. While we are regretfully limited to choosing five teams, the effort put into each submission is very much appreciated. Collectively, they have enriched our journey to make the Rail Corridor an extraordinary and inclusive space for the community,” said Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive Officer of the URA and Chairperson of the Evaluation Panel.
“The five teams chosen demonstrated a clear understanding of the design issues and considerations for the project. They showed originality and creativity in their approaches, but yet were sensitive to the local context and relate strongly to the planning and design goals,” he added.
Evaluation panel member Dr Malone-Lee Lai Choo, Director for the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities at National University of Singapore, who is also a member of the Rail Corridor Partnership, said, “The Rail Corridor is a special and precious community space that many Singaporeans have fond memories of. The selected schemes must be able to distinctively articulate its inherent environmental, social and cultural values.”
She added, “We were looking for schemes that are particularly strong in responding to the ecology of the site, that respect its natural qualities, while introducing sensitive design interventions to enhance them. They must demonstrate understanding and appreciation of the needs, sentiments and collective aspirations of users and residents. We would also want the Corridor to be an outstanding urban asset, and are therefore open to innovative concepts, particularly in and around the nodes; ideas that demonstrate freshness of approach and potentially exceptional design qualities that will enhance our urban landscape.”
Another evaluation panel member, Mr Raymond Woo, Principal Architect with Raymond Woo and Associates Architect, said: “The response to the RFP is impressive. The selected teams were thorough in their design approach. They have different emphases yet were able to demonstrate a common intention, which is to provide a longitudinal green lung through the centre of Singapore. The shortlisted teams have also included possibilities of sensitive design interventions where potential opportunities exist to enhance the Rail Corridor experience.”
“The five teams clearly demonstrated a good understanding of the site and the aspirations of the population in relation to the site's heritage. We look forward to receiving exciting concepts and proposals that are ecologically sustainable and forward looking in the final submissions. The plans for the Rail Corridor will provide opportunities for community building and for Singaporeans to bond as a nation.”
Public invited to give feedback at year-end exhibition
Stage 2A of the RFP exercise will commence on 22 May 2015.
In this stage, the five design teams will develop the overall Concept Master Plan and Concept Proposals for the Rail Corridor, including two special interest areas for the urban-green-blue integrated concepts at Choa Chu Kang, and the concept designs for the adaptive reuse of the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Stage 2A will culminate in a public exhibition held from October to November 2015, when the successful design team(s) will be announced. The exhibition will showcase the submissions of all participating teams, and the public will be invited to give their feedback on the Concept Master Plan and Concept Proposals.
Stage 2B will then commence where the successful design team(s) will work with URA to refine the Concept Master Plan and Concept Designs for the Rail Corridor, taking into account the public, stakeholders and agencies’ feedback received during the exhibition period.
See Annex B [PDF, 24kb] for details of the phases in Stage 2, and Annex C [PDF, 33kb] for the scope of the Concept Master Plan and Concept Proposals.
Preliminary design for 4 km signature stretch
The successful team for the Concept Master Plan will carry out a preliminary design and feasibility study for a selected four kilometre-long signature stretch of the Rail Corridor in Stage 2C. The preliminary design exercise will provide us an opportunity to better understand the feasibility of the proposals when concepts are translated into preliminary design details, and to make improvements such as to the choice of material, types of planting and landscape, as well as provision of services and infrastructure like cycling tracks, shelters and toilets.
The signature stretch spans the former Bukit Timah Railway Station area to the Hillview area. This is a popular stretch of the Rail Corridor that presents a unique sense of place – a ‘green gateway’ into the Rail Corridor – one where nature and greenery, celebration of heritage, and connectivity are hallmarks of the Rail Corridor experience.
Notable landmarks and landscapes along the route include:
- The conserved former Bukit Timah Railway Station and its idyllic natural surroundings;
- Views of Bukit Timah Hill;
- The nearby former Bukit Timah Fire Station and quarters that will become another gateway node into the Rail Corridor;
- The two steel truss bridges across Bukit Timah/Dunearn Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road next to Rail Mall; and
- A former train crossing over Hindhede Road.
See Annex D [PDF, 1155kb] which highlights the 4 km signature stretch.
More information on the RFP exercise is available at http://ura.sg/railrfp. The public can also find out more about the Rail Corridor at http://ura.sg/railcorridor.