Final Year Project

“Hidden Presence”

Project completed in the year 2021, Year 3 Semester 2

Hidden Presence, is the study of the Former Bukit Timah Fire Station (FBTFS) and how the zone can be transformed into a bustling area once more while reinforcing the history of the site to the design proposal. Therefore, minimal changes will be done to the existing buildings. Instead, complimentary materials will be applied to the iconic Fire Station building and more landscaping will be introduced to create a more inviting atmosphere for the users.

To honour all the firemen and soldiers, our “Hidden Heroes” for all the selfless sacrifices they have made, the Hidden Presence is created, a monumental playground. A combination of the past and the future as playing zones are made inspired by the traits and driving forces of the “Hidden Heroes” which are Strength, Freedom and Loyalty.

Through play, users would be able to feel the “Presence” of the “Hidden Heroes” as they experience freedom and strengthen bonds as a community.

( Project Featured at Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts “Best of Best Show 2021” )

The design process

Programmatic development

To return the attention to the old firestation, the area surrounding it has been chosen to be revitalized.​
After studying the demographics of the surrounding area and the history of the site, along with its past operations. A target audience aimed more towards the youth and young families is adopted.

Design development

Using the colours often found on firemen as inspirations, the playing area will be divided into 3 main playing zones. Each zone represents the traits and driving forces of firemen and even the past soldiers in protecting the people.

Translating the definition of Presence into a more physical form, a wave is formed. The idea behind the wave goes back to the meaning of presence which also represents existence. Presence is just another representation of life. Thus, the term “thread of life” is translated as a straight line that turns into drastic waves as a more accurate representation of life’s journey which always fluctuates.

Design strategy

​The design is split into two parts, the solemn section and the playground.
To honour the “heroes” a contemplation area surrounds the site along with a sensory garden that will both welcome and bid visitors farewell.

Meanwhile, the playground is divided into 3 zones that represent strength, freedom and loyalty.

Site plan

Design details of the Entrance, Sensory Garden and Contemplation Area

Entrance and Sensory Garden

As visitors enter the site, they will be greeted by the metal frames that lead to the lush sensory garden filled with colourful planting. The frames act as a hint for what to expect.

Contemplation Area

The contemplation area faces the forest to ensure that there would be no distraction when visitors want to slow down and admire nature. A monumental stone is placed to further honour and remember the heroes of the area.

Design details of Red Zone

​The Red Zone which represents Strength has a structure that is tall and condensed as the ropes are closer together. This creates a more daunting feeling for the users and a stronger experience as the journey lasts longer than the other two zones, thus it also represents the endurance of the past heroes.

Design details of Orange Zone

​Freedom is represented in the Orange Zone, as the pipes are further apart and taller to represent the heights of the effort the Heroes gave for our freedom. Children and adults alike are able to roam more freely around the area to immerse themselves in the fog. Further establishing the meaning of freedom.

Design details of Yellow Zone

The Yellow Zone represents Loyalty, by being able to hang onto the ropes and the net the users similarly display loyalty as the soldiers and firemen held onto Singapore and kept fighting for it.

Physical model

Dive into greater detail and the intense thought process of "Hidden Presence" :