Amitabha Buddhist Society, Singapore

Design Proposal (2011)

Located in the Geylang district of Singapore, the Amitabha Buddhist Society is a non-profit place of worship that does community outreach and provides charity services to local residents. Having outgrown their current location a few blocks away, the Society was looking to expand their operation in a new facility that would appeal to people of all religions and ethnicities in multi-cultural Singapore. The design is deliberately modern and non-traditional, to reach out to the community and welcome those of non-Chinese and non-Buddhist origins. Drawing on the Buddhist tradition of prayer wheels, the facade is partially kinetic, with large caved, mono-chromatic prayer tablets able to rotate in the wind and change continuously.

The Society identified green building technologies as an important part of their ehtical mission. As such, the building was designed to allow for passive systems to play an important role in reducing their overall energy usage and emissions. A large atrium is positioned between the adjacent terrace building and the new construction, to act as a solar chimney and draw hot air up and out through vents at the roof top. The first floor is raised above the gound level to allow for a naturally ventilated car park and air flow beneath the building, which doubles as a space for the letting off of thermal heat gain. All spaces adjacent to the atrium have high level vents feeding into the space for natural ventilation options. The main facade is designed as a double skin to provide sun shading for the interior spaces and act as a buffer between the exterior and interior environments.

The green building features add to the spatial qualities of the building through natural lighting, shadows and large volumes, creating a place that joins a unique architecture with the special mission of the Amitabha Buddhist Society.

Building Type: Civic
Location: 693 Lorong 37, Geylang Road, Singapore
Client: Amitabha Buddhist Society
Gross Floor Area: 2,253 sqm
Site Area: 571 sqm
Status: Design Proposal (2011)