Punggol Digital District (PDD) is a large business park being developed in the northeast part of Singapore in which architecture, nature and technology are all integrated assets of the masterplan.
The precinct will house key growth industries like cyber security and digital technology and is set to create 28,000 jobs. Designed by local architects and planners WOHA, it is a testbed for many of the forward-thinking ideas the firm is now synonymous with.
PPD breaks free of two-dimensional planning. In lieu of a top-down view of land use wherein zones and roads are sharply demarcated, it opts for a three-dimensional approach: programmes and services are stacked and connected both vertically and horizontally to facilitate symbiotic exchanges.
The design incorporates several data for movement: ground, below ground, podium and roof. The result is a unique built form that meshes buildings into vast urban networks with social spaces nestled between blocks.
Fast mobility systems, such as trains and cars, are situated below ground, along with services infrastructure.
Some of the structures have been lifted off the ground, freeing the terrain for walking and cycling. Visitors can also move between buildings at the podium level to access sky terrace gardens.
The roof is reserved for energy and food production.
Lush greenery permeates every corner of the district. PDD’s urban farms, tree-lined thoroughfares and promenades all feature new and conserved vegetation.
The 50-hectare site’s masterplan actively supports the biodiversity of the area. The wide selection of plants and distribution of water bodies bolster foraging. This attention to landscape details illustrates how dense developments can co-exist with and sustain natural habitats.
In order to encourage more people to walk and cycle on the grounds, the old Punggol Road has been earmarked as a major corridor, turning the 1.3 km stretch into a car-free heritage trail.
The whole park is designed to be car-lite to limit emissions from private vehicles. It also promotes the use of public transportation for longer commutes.
PDD promises to be a smart business precinct. For instance, the Open Digital Platform (ODP) integrates data from its multiple systems, collected in real-time and used to create a digital twin.
Connected to the ODP, a smart energy grid enables users to monitor consumption and adopt greener lifestyles. It is estimated that the district will fare 30% better in energy use, simply by relying on cooling across the site.
PDD also promises to be circular. Measures are in place to recycle food and horticulture into fertilisers. Rainwater collected in eco-ponds is to be channelled for irrigation use.
The flows and exchanges throughout the site take place in a centralised logistics hub, fitted with Internet-of-Things sensors.
PDD’s initial design phase was awarded the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum. It will open in stages from 2024 onwards.
Once operational, the district should help Singapore realise its ambition to be a smart nation at the service of people and ecology. It will also further its efforts towards its City in Nature vision.
A frontline project is holistic, net-positive and integrative. It protects or regenerates social, ecological and economic systems, aiming for a ‘greater-than-sum’ outcome.
Tropical climates have warm, moist conditions year-round, with high precipitation and narrow diurnal temperature swings. These climates occur typically between 15° N to 15° S latitude. Here, traditional architecture prioritises natural ventilation and shade for comfort.