Design Vision for Increasing Building Performance and Reprogramming Common Spaces
The Reclaiming Backlanes project focuses on two case studies of the city centre area in Singapore and makes a proposal that brings together energy technologies and common spaces. The team proposes design visions for backlanes that are not only up to 50 percent more energy efficient but also reprogramme backlanes into viable common spaces.
On the micro scale, the project proposes a new type of neighbourhood-scale cooling system, to not only reduce energy consumption, but also to enhance comfort in the backlanes. On the urban scale, the aim of the project is to enhance the overall connectivity of neighbourhoods. Furthermore, transforming the quality and usability of backlanes results in more commercially attractive and visually pleasing backlanes.
The introduction of a neighbourhood-scale cooling system – either a district cooling system or a heat bus system – not only reduces energy consumption, but also frees up facades from air-conditioning units and further enhances thermal comfort in the backlanes. A technical refurbishment is taken as a trigger to improve overall neighbourhood connectivity and pedestrian walkability.
Further improvement of spatial qualities and usability of backlanes are likely to result in commercially attractive and visually pleasing spaces. While all aspects have value and justification on their own, only their combination can unlock the full potential hidden in these neglected urban spaces.
Additionally, the project emphasises means by which urban comfort is achieved and how these are achieved. Reclaiming Backlanes has the capacity to function as attractors that transform urban neighbourhoods in positive ways.