Page 1


annabelle lim

year 1 sem 1

nus architecture


PROLOGUE The following includes 7 selected projects from Semester 1, Year 1 of my studies at NUS Architecture. These projects were envisioned and carried out with the generous help of my studio mates, Amber, Weng, Sherry, Jane, Elvin, Chan, Anders, Jon, Zeno and tutor, Lee May Anne. With much effort put in and long nights spent in the studio, I hope you enjoy reading the portfolio as much as I enjoyed creating it.

LIM QIAN PING A N N A B E L L E A0157481Y 2016


projects; 1; week four


Twelve Senses and Experience­- Field

2; week six

SUN YAT SEN 3; week nine

CYANOTYPE 4; week ten


A Sense of Scale Documenting and Representing Architecture and Southeast Asian Cities / P E N A N G

Constructing the Intangible City Resource, Sustainability and Tropical Climate Exploring the Possibility of Material

5; week eleven

SILVA ACCRETIO 6; week twelve

MORPH/ esetico ritmico

Biomimicry for Our Built Environment / TREE

Resource, Sustainability and Tropical Climate Geometry and Composition in Structure / BASSWOOD

7; week thirteen


Resource, Sustainability, and Tropical Climate / TROPICAL PARADIGM


“B A L A N C

E ”

Twelve Senses and Experience­- Field

In collaboration with Horst Hellmann and Chang Yong Ter




Science knows that there are 12 human senses, but each sense has a specific influence on the human soul, and on human health as well. It is important for architects to be aware of this because the building and its environment can affect health. This is especially important for children, as their entire organism and soul life are developing. At the University of Goettingen, Germany, Professor Christian Rittelmeyer has done research on the design of school buildings, resulting in a book: Einfuehrung in die Gestaltung von Schulbauten, or Introduction in the Building of School Buildings. In it, he gives proof that even architectural forms can have an influence on children’s health. Unless there are conscious efforts made by the designers of our physical environment, the world will be increasingly deprived of such senses and experiences. Commercialisation and infrastructurisation dominate our daily environment, leaving no spaces for humanity to experience the range and potential of our senses and emotions, and making it increasingly harder to stay healthy in our own being.

assignment aims;

To gain an understanding of the relationship between our senses and the built environment. To experience the 12 senses described in the WALDORF education and philosophy. To experiment with designing an environment which invokes our 12 senses.


A 1:10 scale model of the experience-field, 1 per person


sense ; B A L A N C E

CONCEPT With an understanding of ‘Balance’, I intended to build an installation at the Botanic Gardens Waterfall near Tyersall Avenue. This would be near a pick up point and hence be largely accessible and viewed by the public – encouraging them to test their sense of Balance. As many senses intertwine with each other, this would be a multi-sensorial experience as well.

BALANCING BEAMS These beams showcase the natural water flow of the waterfall at the site, playing with the idea of balance as the water stream varies with time. As the entrance to the cave can be ‘shielded’ by water streams flowing down, these beams redirect water flow when they tilt, creating timely entrances for one to enter the cave. Senses of movement, sight, hearing and the invigoration of thought play a role here.

STEPPING STONES This idea came from Zen Stones that practice the idea of balance. The stepping stones shown vary in size and thickness, with some stones appearing larger on the surface whilst it’s foundation beneath the water is smaller and some stones being able to rotate around. This invigorates further thought and movement.


“S U N Y A T S E N” A Sense of Scale Documenting and Representing Architecture and Southeast Asian Cities / P E N A N G

In collaboration Dr Imran Bin Tajudeen, ​Deborah Emmanuel, Dr Lee Kah Wee, Dr Johaness Widodo




A sense of scale is indispensable in understanding architecture and drawing. When we say a space is ‘tight’, ‘cosy’, or ‘oversized’ or overwhelming for a particular purpose, we are referring to a sense of ‘human scale’ or the measure of space required for human activity. The fine¬scale measure of space and form for bodily movements for various tasks requires familiarity with the domain of study named anthropometry. An awareness of the human body’s dimensions also serves as a measure for estimation. A sense for proportion refers to dimensions of parts in relation to the whole and is essential in visual estimation when documenting what you see. Familiarity with different scales and the required level of details of construction is also fundamental to architectural drawing.

assignment aims;

(a) understand the morphology of the old city (overview provided during walking orientation tour) and be able to discern neighbourhoods as socio¬morphological units (combining both a socio-cultural and a physical, architectural¬morphological perspective) (b) document and learn about building typology from the field, understand model variations and distinguish these from ‘style’ (to be explained during lecture) (c) document and learn about anthropometry from the field, in street activities and everyday culture of the sidewalk and five¬foot¬way (public/private thresholds, economic activity, street life)


One A2 sheet urban neighborhood preliminary study, per team One A2 sheet urban neighborhood observation from Fieldtrip, per team One A2 sheets building facade and entrance plan at 1:50 scale with feature documentation from Fieldtrip, per student One A2 sheets sidewalk / five¬foot¬way documentation from Fieldtrip, per student


OVERVIEW Sun Yat Sen is a historical landmark with vast arrays of architectural motifs to be appreciated and learnt from. During my visit, I understood reasons behind the build of a traditional shophouse and sought out to further elaborate on the anthropometry of the building and intricate detailing done by craftsmen of the past. Here, I showcase my version of Sun Yat Sen in my drawings that hope to bring out the character of the building through my recognition of the finer details and perspectives that were chosen carefully.

right: Façade & Perspective Drawings left: Floor Plan, Sectional & Isometric Drawings

HISTORICAL UNDERSTANDING The Sun Yat Sen in Penang is in a historic house constructed circa 1880 as a residential townhouse. A superb example of a Straits Settlements merchant’s home and with an unusual length of over 130 feet (40 metres), the building is a living example of the architectural heritage of Penang. The museum building is the same house where Sun Yat Sen devised many of his plans to overthrow the Qing Dynasty where it housed the reading club Penang Philomatic Union, a cover for Sun’s political party.

right: Aerial Perspective of Proposed Penang’s Heritage Trail that showcases an Interesting Roof Plan and the Historical Locations around it bottom: Sun Yat Sen Museum


THRESHOLD SPACE left: Light Threshold Space “Airwell” right: Threshold Space before Entrance “Five-Foot Way” In Sun Yat Sen, the threshold spaces all hold varying purposes – from being spaces before entrances to encapsulating light. Architectural typology and urban morphology meet at thresholds between public and private space as seen on the perspective drawing on the right, whilst the one on the left shows more of an understanding of embracing natural light within a threshold space in our built environment. DETAILS The unique cultural heritage is demonstrated largely in the small details found everywhere in the Sun Yat Sen shophouse. Through wood carvings in the cabinet to spiral staircases, it brings much to be imagined about the past dwellings of the shophouse. left to right: Spiral Staircase in the Study Room, Cabinet Motifs, Reception Area

Apt anthropometry can be seen throughout the shophouse along with unique features such as having “Airwells” in one’s house for ventilation and natural light to flow into the shophouse. Also, it is unique to note the narrow but long dimensions of a Penang shophouse. above: Sectional Drawing of Sun Yat Sen below: Isometric Drawing of Sun Yat Sen

As the Sun Yat Sen shophouse has been renovated due to old age, the spatial use of the shophouse has also been slightly changed as it is being used as a office and residence for interns. However, many pieces of original furniture has been retained and hence, the feel of an olden Sun Yat Sen shophouse still retains.


C Y A N O T Y P E Constructing the Intangible City In collaboration with Tamae Iwasaki, Eitaro Ogawa, and Singapore Tyler Print Institute




So far, for this semester, we have covered a variety of themes concerning our built environment, such as ethical and societal engagement, human senses, the relationship with nature, place, and people, culture and identity, space, and aesthetics. Architecture is an art and synthesis of all those capacities. To become architects with such myriad capacities, it is essential that we be able to observe, feel with deep sincerity, and be empathetic to the people whom we serve as designers of their home and city. Only with such strong foundations and values can architects deploy their skill and technology for the betterment of our built environment. This week, studio will explore our capacities to be expressed via an artistic process called cyanotype, in collaboration with Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

assignment aims;

Art and Architecture: Students will have an introduction to the art works and exhibition at STPI, to cultivate an understanding of how artists conceptualize their art works and carefully put together their ideas and processes when crafting their works. Cyanotype: Based on the understanding of the cyanotype technique from the demonstration on Monday, each team will explore how to deploy the technique in architectural drawing and documentation. Curation in Architecture: Each studio will generate its own curatorial direction regarding the works to be done by the students for homework and in the workshop. Please discuss the curatorial direction with your tutor.


Each studio to produce the idea/concept and the material/object composition for their cyanotype on Thursday. The maximum exposure size is A0.


“ identity: With time we grew, but what is a tree without its roots? ” CONCEPTUAL IDEAS Our concept was to represent our ever growing Singapore in our cyanotype through the segments of a tree. As this method of printing allowed us to be strategic about our contrast in the use of overlay, we had different layers of shophouses that were double exposed with the roots of the tree and the concurrent Marina Bay skyline with the trunks and branches.

bottom: Our Cyanotype Print after Washing off the Hydrogen Peroxide used to further develop the Rich Blue Colour

ROOTS Heritage and culture that must not be lost in our daily grind but instead conserved for the better of our future – to remind us of our past and spur us on for years to come. This would be our shophouses that have been preserved for history and that have been grounding us in our base beliefs.



For what we already have now, to cherish and not take for granted the opportunities and the availability of it. This would be represented by the integration of our famous Marina Bay skyline with the trunks of our trees, constantly growing upwards to seek more and challenge ourselves more.

Thinking about the future of Singapore and to branch out into the impossible like before, to make new breakthroughs in the world for ourselves as a small country. 12

“ B O -B A -B E E � Resource, Sustainability and Tropical Climate Exploring the Possibility of Material In collaboration with Aurel von Richthofen, Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore ETH Center




This workshop “Exploring the Possibility of Material” ​gives the partic pants the possibility to develop and test alternative construction materials made from renewable resources. All modern construction materials make the best use of specific material properties. Some exhibit good compressive strength (for instance earth) while others better tensile strength (for instance bamboo). So called composite materials make the best use of two or more material properties by combining specific base materials (for instance bamboo-reinforced earth).

assignment aims;

Identify a scarce resource (natural, artificial, energetic, waste product, space, etc.). Describe the pressure this resource exercises on an ecosystem, describe the consequences of a ‘conventional’ continuous resource exploitation or waste accumulation. Speculate on the potential of your resource and identify the gap in perception: Why it has not been activated so far? Explain your approach to activate it and describe the external parameters necessary to make this approach viable. Assess the resource in terms of renewability, sustainability and innovation character. Apply a transformation technique (a concept explained by the lecturer) to the resource and produce an object that could be considered a building material. Develop and document this technique or tool.


Two A2 boads, graphic presentation of the process per group (3-4 sudents) A physical material sample or model per group


left: Instructions on how to Construct the Blocks with their respective “Life-Cycle Assesments“ right: Uses of the Blocks in greater picture








Working hand in hand with nature, this would allow for the block to attract birds and small animals to it, allowing it to be ablt to be used for building temporary migratory homes for animals

So as to be eco-friendly and not cumulate waste whilst giving some variability to our blocks and their uses, our blocks go through a thorough life cycle whereby they eventually decompose into fertilizer for their surroundings

E The blocks are meant to be able to facilitate easy building of your preference as they are moulded to be able to fit together with one another just like “Lego bricks”.











Our blocks are high in nutritious value as they contain bone marrow, bone, beeswax and bagasse fibres that all provide animals sufficient nutrition.

left: “BO-BA-BEE” Brouchure for consumers right:Use of the block as a Plant Wall


“S I L V A A C C R E T I O ” Biomimicry for Our Built Environment / T R E E

[ forest growth \ sĭl-və-’ə-krē′sh(ē-)ō\ ]




Our planet, Earth, faces devastating environmental challenges. Its surface has been severely damaged, and much wildlife has been destroyed. Natural resources have become dangerously scarce, to the point where they can no longer sustain the whole population of the planet. The population has risen to over 10 billion, and wars and food shortages have displaced millions of people, forcing them to migrate to urban areas. Most people have also been forced to live in urban areas to help the planet’s natural resources renew themselves. As a result, urban areas have required high-density development to accommodate the large numbers of people. High-rise towers in these areas that have been designed to perform like a bio-organism, seamlessly integrate into the lives of humanity. These super towers have been designed to provide the population with five basic, essential needs: Air (wind), Water, Sun, Soil (ground), and Trees. The super towers act like wind/water/sun catchers, harnessing energy and natural resources. The super tower has its own cycle of ecology, and the five so-called ‘elemental super towers’ (one for each basic need) have been designed according to the principle of Biomimicry.

assignment aims;

To come up with the design of the five ‘elemental towers’ according to the principles of Biomimicry and define each element in terms of the natural resources required, then to design each super tower to be able to harness its resources. Each tower is rather mono-functional. It does not have to address all the elements, but can be focused on dealing with just one element. The tower should be 1,189 metres tall and the building’s exterior parameter cannot exceed 841 metres.


One tower model in 1:1000 scale


The Tree as an Ecosystem with a Constant of Growth There is more to a tree then it’s bark and leaves, what we do not see beyond the surface is a complex structure of layers and systems that interlock with each other to play a part in keeping the tree alive. With that thought in mind, we created a base module with six different forms varying in the porosity of the module itself. From there, I expanded on the aspect of ‘life’ that goes into each module. From modules just solely being used as dwellings for humans, to modules that breed life as planters, an utopian ideal of eco-living whereby water, food and shelter are all fulfilled. left: Different Modules to suit Different Needs at that Point in Time

bottom: ‘silva accretio’ Displayed in Different Seasons

Changing of the Seasons Imagined as a giant ecosystem, a tree that has lived many of years could be envisioned as one with our model, growing and expanding together with it. Thus, the portrayal of a tree in different seasons to bring life to our model, ‘silva accretio’.


Resource, Sustainability and Tropical Climate Geometry and Composition in Structure / BASSWOOD In collaboration with Dr Kim Hyeong III


esetico ritmico”




Architects and structural engineers work hand in hand to come to artistic solutions and innovations that reconcile humanity and nature, aesthetics and function, material usage and multiple usage of spaces. With these considerations in mind, how can we generate a unique structure and envelope that suits people, nature, and the environment in the tropics?

assignment aims;

By considering basswood as your material and by limiting the absolute linear dimension of each form to no more than 100mm the  following:   a. bridge a gap between two parallel edges 600mm apart. (Span)  b. enclose a square void of 400mm X400mm (Dome)  The minimum rise of the span is to be no less than 50mm.  The load at mid‐point as a point load shall be two full coke cans in  weight.  


Two models   A1 drawing of the plan elevation and section of the models at 1:2 scale   A Report with Picture of Process models 


The project took a lot of trial and error to get to our final model. This consisted of building models that were far too compressive in nature to those where the direction of wood grain made the modules far too brittle for construction. Our final model compensated for the lack of full compression from the addition of more rows of modules by allowing the model to take more load with the controlled flexibility and its ability to spread out the weight evenly.


P R O J E C T A I M “To investigate the use of scissor system mechanics in load carrying structures”

THE DOME Using the same module and structure from the bridge previously for the ‘legs’ of the dome, we had to adapt to the different shape of the structure that led us to eventually change the shape of the legs due to too much flexibility by cross-bracing it – giving it more stability and ability to carry further load. Also, we created a centerpiece that could join the 4 legs all together to create the dome.


WHY MORPH? Verstality of our module morphs the structure it is about to form in any way you would like it to be. left: Experimentation of Base Modular Units bottom: Experimentation of Circular Centre Unit for the Dome

OVERARCHING CONCEPT HOBERMAN SPHERE MECHANISM The ability to have a scissor-system mechanism for solid durability, flexibility and compression of the model with a module without any joints – creating a curvilinear shape for the bridge and the legs of the dome.

WHY esetico ritmico? esetico ritmico means “aesthetic rhythmn” in Italian music terms. Our structure is very much like a music piece, the constant change in angle between the two modules give the piece its own rhythmic character, with the planes providing a rhythm of tilt. Different yet same rhythms of movement – visible shapes of ‘X’s can be seen throughout both the bridge and dome. However, it should be noticed that is a ‘trapezium’ shape in the dome’s leg whereas the bridge only consists of ‘crosses’.


As the aim of the project was to build a model of least weight yet support a heavy load, we suggest trying to further lower the modular weight by having cut outs in the modules - something that has to be done with furtherdiscretion.


From this project, I have further understood the characteristics of wood and how even the smallest changes of width, length can affect one’s model so tremendously. Also, from the many interations of our designs I have realised that designing a structure isn’t a one-off thing - it takes many tests and failures to find the optimum in which has the least room for improvement.

top-left: Preliminary Models for the Bridge right: Presentation of our Module Experimentation during studio time





above: Presentation of Esetico Ritmico bottom left to right: Real Life Visualisation of the Uses of the Bridge and Dome

Due to our module’s versatility, it is envisioned that one would be able to have an endless amount of potential construction possibilities. Furthermore, our module enables us to create reconstructable structures making it useful for building temporary constructions. Also, these modules are easily re-fabricated and flat packed for transportation.

INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKLETS Similar to how ‘Ikea’ does their instructional booklets, we came out with our own version of it just like how we would educate people on how to build our models as if it was a commercialized product.






left: Page 1-3 of the Dome’s Instructional Booklet right: Page 1-3 of the Bridge’s Instructional Booklet


“B A M B O O + V E R S I T I L I T Y ” Resource, Sustainability, and Tropical Climate / TROPICAL PARADIGM In collaboration with Dr ​Abel E. Tablada de la Torre and Dr Chang Jiat-Hwee




“Are those involved aware that they have perhaps unwittingly legitimised the primacy of the cube and the surface plane as the language of form and space applied to the problem of tropical aesthetics not withstanding the physics of tropical design?� Tay Kheng Soon As prospective architects educated and trained in the tropical region, how would you weave the threads of the language of form and space to define architecture that is deeply rooted in the climate, culture, and context of Singapore?

assignment aims;

Quantitatively, we will test the envelope with an electronic fan and a spotlight, placing a flag in the middle and observing if the flag can sway in horizontal wind direction. The flag’s height is 15 cm, positioned in the central area of 400 mm x 400mm which has to be protected from vertical rain and direct lighting at 60 degree angle. The more sway of the flag and the less area under direct lighting, the better. The protection from rain will be assessed by looking the model from above; no holes are expected to be seen from that position on top of the central area. Qualitatively, we will experience the work by removing the base and putting our heads inside the envelope, to see if we can reveal a successful manifestation of the statement on tropicality in architecture. Lighting effect at night: Please also consider the effect of lighting on the box. The box can be lit from inside or outside and propose effective lighting along with the design of the box.


Tropical Paradigm: Each team is to compose their own statement defining tropicality in architecture and city. Tropical Architecture: Based on the statement, create an envelope that encloses a square void of 600 mm x 600 mm, or a circle of 600 mm diameter.


“Versatility is the essence of Vernacular Architecture.” BAMBOO

With the concept of being vernacular in mind, we brought forth the usage of a natural and cultural material which had a rich history behind it – Bamboo. Bamboo was once used in many Asian climates as construction scaffolding and to build many tropical huts. This was due to its abundance in certain areas in Asia and the versatility of its properties to withstand elements of the tropics.


As we had to visualise this as a night art installation, we decided to build something that could incorporate and interact with the elements of wind, rain, and light. Hence, a double layered spiral cone that showcased the raw structure of bamboo with the acrylic circles holding them in place. The inner cone has been lightly suspended while the outermost layer is rigid and when the wind blows, it gives one a visual illusion whereby one cannot tell apart the layer that is moving and which one is not.


The suspended wind chimes in the innermost layer was to provide a multisensorial experience in the ‘sound’ aspect. They are put in a spiral and make melodious tunes when they clink about each other – an old craft done in various Asian countries.


Due to the requirement to shelter ambient light and rain from our installation, we draped cloth between 2 bamboo dowels in shapes of a ‘C’ about the two bamboo spirals. The cloth was made flaccid so as to catch the wind and give further movement in the model.

Comparisons of our Model under Direct Ambient Light and when it is Lighted from the Inside


NUS Architecture Portfolio YR 1 SEM 1  
NUS Architecture Portfolio YR 1 SEM 1