In order to propose a new low-rise housing typology for the public, there is a need to understand the people I am designing for. Who are them? What are the existing facilities and environment like?
A survey was conducted by HDB in 2003, it was published in a book “Public housing in Singapore: Resident’s Profile and Physical Aspects HDB sample household survey 2003”. The following are some survey results extracted from the book, it gives us a rough idea of the HDB population and what are the dislikes and likes about living in a HDB estate.
The next step I studied the housing pattern of kampongs. In a kampong there is no clear geometric layout instead the layout is determined by the social relationships and the culture and lifestyle of the villagers. The houses are spaced far apart from each other to allow for future expansion. Through the distance privacy is preserved. There are no clear markings of boundary between houses; usually a simple bush or coconut tree would symbolize the boundary instead of fences. The kampong area is usually well shaded with coconut trees, this enable the public space to be viable for usage even in the hot afternoons.
The configuration of spatial relationship within a traditional Malay house is very different from the modern house. Instead of defining the spaces by programmatic functions, the spaces in the Malay house is multi-functional and changes with the time of the day and the year.
The climatic design of the Malay house could be adapted into modern housing planning for achieving a better performance.
Lastly, the expandability and the flexibility of the traditional Malay house could be a potential factor to learn from. As compared to the present static planning the intricate structure of expandibility in the Malay house could be adapted to modern day living to enable a more time base spatial relationship.