Thursday, July 31, 2008

Award-Winners To Design HDB Flats

Source : The Business Times, July 31, 2008

SCDA, WOHA and Surbana named consultants for Dawson Estate flats

FLAT-BUYERS eyeing Dawson Estate in Queenstown will be spoilt for choice, as upcoming public housing will feature designer looks courtesy of not one, not two, but three local award-winning architectural firms.

Ms Fu: There will be challenges in keeping HDB flats affordable

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) said yesterday that it will appoint SCDA Architects, WOHA Architects and Surbana International Consultants as design consultants for the district's public housing projects.

Dawson Estate comes under a 'Remaking Our Heartland' exercise that aims to transform public housing into vibrant homes for Singaporeans.

To showcase the regeneration of an old estate, HDB invited the three architectural firms last year to design public housing precincts in Dawson Estate based on new ideas and concepts.

Favourable response from the public led HDB to appoint all three as design consultants.

SCDA and WOHA received their letters of appointment at a HDB awards dinner yesterday evening. The two sites which both firms worked on are vacant and ready for development.

HDB plans to launch the first batch of flats on these two sites for sale under the Built-to-Order system in the third quarter of next year.

Construction could start in the first quarter of 2010 and be completed in 2014.

HDB will appoint Surbana later, when the site it worked on is cleared and ready for redevelopment in 2011.

'The participation of these firms will not only give HDB flat buyers greater variety and choice, it will also bring a livelier, more attractive buzz to Dawson,' said Senior Minister of State for National Development and Education Grace Fu.

HDB has also appointed a local landscape architectural firm, Cicada Pte Ltd, to draw up a landscape masterplan. The plan will create a distinct identity for Dawson Estate and bring together the three different precincts.

To retain Dawson Estate's heritage, HDB is inviting the public to contribute items from the district's past. Selected heritage items will be woven into the new development.

Ms Fu said yesterday that the 'Remaking Our Heartland' programme has made much progress. Nevertheless, she added: 'There will be challenges along the way, such as grappling with inflation and competing for resources amidst the global construction boom, while keeping HDB flats affordable.'

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