In land-scarce cities like Singapore, urban planners are warming to the typology of a vertical village. As designers are preparing to build upwards the kinds of programmes normally conceived outwards, they recognise the need to take a different view of how things connect. Thomas Schroepfer and Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan are researchers and designers interested in how Network Science can reveal the design successes and blindspots of Kampung Admiralty, an 11-storey garden city with open air public precincts. Srilalitha explains their process: “Each open space becomes my point of interest; the relationship between different spaces becomes my analysis. What is the narrative that connects all these spaces together?” Using a variety of Network Science tools, they visualise the movement, interactions, and spatial occupancy of the people in the first-of-its-kind vertical village. Access the study by scanning the QR code.
What vantage point allows us to see our blind spots?
Sometimes the network view of the building elicited surprising insight running counter to design intuition about human behavior. For instance, the study recorded high pedestrian flows in lifts meant for cargo, going to amenities like Childcare, Playgrounds and Elder Care. As these lifts were relatively hidden from the main circulation spine, and not intended to be main access routes, the finding highlights the need to consider every “vertical street” as a key connector.
The study, as much as it was an analysis of a building’s spatial character, was an experimentation of new tools. Thomas and Srilalitha advocate Network Science methodologies as valuable ways to inform social integration, especially in future multi-purpose megastructures.
KA performance evaluation framework structure.
“How spaces are put together give us insight on how the building is going to perform.”
“Then we map how people move through and use those spaces.”
“We overlay this information to understand how the space interacts with the user.”
“We compare what we thought the building would do, versus what we see the building doing.”
Movement patterns of four categories of users were studied to understand their preferred destinations and route choices.
KA intends to be a vertical extension of urban spaces on the ground.
Photo credit: Patrick Bingham-Hall