SPECULATIONS: NUS Architecture Studio Exhibition

Speculations is a chronicle of design projects done by 13 NUS Department of Architecture Year 4 students over the course of Semester 2 2010/2011, under the instruction of A/P Bobby Wong. The projects reflect a two-pronged (macro and micro) investigation. The macro response comprises of masterplans, involving the projection of societal and contextual conditions upon which architecture is contingent. On the micro level, students elaborate on these reactions into individual projects, detailed with technical imagination, addressing socio-political premises and realism. The intention is to transcend beyond the mere search for expression, to confront directly items and concepts upon which this language is conceived.

The projects on exhibit follow 4 directions:

Jurong Bird Park Tropical Paradise

Anticipating the obsoletion of heavy industries, this series of projects speculate the takeover of Jurong industrial area by Jurong Bird Park. A new typology of infrastructures, bird aviaries, is propagated over the landscape, resulting in hybrid industries. Nature’s seizure appears sinister as the masterplan seeks to facilitate a more effective mode of exploitation and consumption.

Tr(ASH) City at Pulau Semakau

Responding to fears engendered by climate change, consumption patterns and drastic population growth, Tr(ASH) City attempts to combine landfills and habitable spaces. Ash resulting from the incineration of waste is stored in colossal silos rising over a submerged Pulau Semakau. The silos act as structural foundations upon which a new city is to be built. This series of projects speculate the maximisation of limited resources and the emergence of society adapting to its new environment.

Kafka’s Kukup

This project imagines the construction of a penal colony on Pulau Kukup, Johor Bahru. The prison attempts to reform inmates through the replanting of mangroves, following which new consumption programmes co-opts the structures left behind by the prison. Kafka’s Kukup narrates the struggle and contradictions of control, inspired by Franz Kafka’s “The Castle”.

Pyron 7719

Unearthing the historical context of St John’s Island as a quarantine station during colonial administration, Pyron 7719 proposes a vaccine laboratory – where humans serve as test subjects. The project’s controversial endeavour tests the moral judgement of its observers as a small group is seemingly sacrificed for the greater good of society.


The exhibition will be open from 5 to 21 August 2011, 11am – 5pm daily at the Forest Rain Gallery located at Blk 261 Waterloo Street #02-43/44. A publication narrating the design exploration will be launched on the opening day and will be available for purchase for the duration of the exhibition.

For more information, click here.


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