Xin Yuan Tan - Selected Works

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xin yuan tan

architecture portfolio sel ected work s 2010-2020


Graduate, National University of Singapore Aspiring Architect Singapore (+65) 91715355


curriculum vitae TAN XIN YUAN 30.04.1996 (+65) 91715355


2019-2020 Masters of Architecture National University of Singapore

2019 Masters of Architecture Technical University of Eindhoven 2015-2019 Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (Honours) National University of Singapore 2013-2014 GCE A’ Levels Raffles Institution ( Junior College) 2012 GCE O’Levels Art (Distinction) Singapore Chinese Girls’ School ACADEMIA AWARDS 2018-2019 Deans List

National University of Singapore School of Design and Environment, Department of Architecture

2015-2020 BCA-Industry Scholarship

Building and Construction Authority iBuildSG Undergraduate Scholarship

EXPERIENCE 2020 Visiting Lecturer Tongji University Shanghai

Urban Housing Policy Role of Design in Singapore Housing and Residential Character

2019-2020 Teaching Assistant

Built BIM modelling tutorial courses for AR3721, Building and Environmental Systems Facilitated curriculum classes for students Assessed and developed grading rubrics

2018-2019 The Architecture Society Executive Committee Exhibition Director

Conceived, curated various internal and external exhibitions

2019 DP Architects

Research and renders for New Science Centre stage 2 competition Research and renders for Founders’ Memorial compeition Research for NS Square competition Construction of iLight 2019: Why Green Design Development, Tender, Authority Submission for SAFRA Choa Chu Kang Design Development for DSTA NS Hub Construction Drawings for Ang Mo Kio Nursing Home

2018 LAUD Architects

Design Development, Tender for Aspial Pte. Ltd HQ Design Development for Old Folks’ Home

2016-2018 Eusoff Hall Leader

Chairman of Special Projects Team (2017-2018) Exco member of Hall Promotion Board (2017-2018)

2016 Atelier Small Pte Ltd

Model making for client GCB


2020 NUS M.Arch Grad Show Head Curator 2019 NUS City Exhibition 2019 Sponsor Firm Exhibit (under DP Architects) 2018 NUS City Exhibition: Interplay Head Curator Selected Works Exhibit

Featuring House of Shelves x Hock Siong

2016 NUS City Exhibition: Delight Selected Works Exhibit

Featuring Waterfall House


Pulau Ubin Ah Ma Drink’s Stall Pilot Restoration Initiative

Design Conception and Construction of first student-led island restoration project

COMPETITION 2019 Kaira Looro Peace Pavilion 2019 Power up! Pasir Panjang Ideas Competition Selected Works Exhibit Featured in URA Centre

2019 Founders’ Memorial under DP Architects

2019 New Science Centre

Top 5 Shortlisted under DP Architects

selected works 1

a thesis PLAY! a guide to architecture for resilience


a dossier reshaping oceanic feeling


a dream home shop house of shelves

4 a 3d printed tropical wall trivoid


a salvation pavilion w.i.p


a renovation pulau ubin ah ma’s drink stall


an exhibition series NUS cityex 2018: interplay


a passion selected art

6 20 32 40 48 52 58 66



a thesis


a guide to architecture for resilience The Singaporean game of life models Freudian theory – the objective of the game is to earn titles through fame, happiness, money, recognition. The first player to achieve or exceed this success formula is the winner of the game. The Singaporean life timeline and one’s enduring identity– or the lack thereof – involves the loss of the id, (read: innate passions and desires) through habits of compliance to social construct as one grows older. Conversely, the ego and superego, which are the other 2 concepts of the tripartite composition of I, focuses on societal means of success, and are transient, gone when one retires and when one’s predecessors move out of the house. The remainder – an empty nest, a hollow shell, a loss of socially ‘prestigious’ titles, and a stark loss of identity.


From early years of providing basic housing to enable the growing population to today’s design guidelines focusing on communal identity, the ubiquitous HDB landscape creates formal landscapes that champion pragmatism and community identity. This thesis posits that the housing landscape holds the pivotal role as the spatial and physical construct in shaping a Singaporean’s core identity, through the retention of one’s id throughout one’s lifetime. It calls upon the MND and HDB, which shapes 70% of a child’s development, to fulfil its role of shaping a future resilient generation. It distills the various title classifications and memories that can be created in the everyday neighbourhood, creating a vehicle that is reactionary to the longevity and permanence of one’s identity. Ultimately, it appends a PLAY! guide to creating housing

spaces that build meaningful identities based on permanent qualities like resilience, independence, self-awareness, empathy – values beyond the traditional pedagogy of what a school can teach. The guidebook comes coupled with 20 examples of deconstructing formal ‘play spaces’ into everyday banal items along journeys, which are practical and simple to be implemented. They bring meaning to the everyday, regardless of place or age. The resultant hyper-neighbourhood consist of a plethora of opportunities of 4 varying spatial types – secret passages, centre stages, hideaways and out-of-bound areas – a step into the solution for lasting memories, individual and communal titles; a rootedness to the self and to the community, and towards a generation of resilient characters; a wholesome id, ego, and superego; and a more meaningful, lasting and fulfilling game of life.


Secret paths are unique alternatives, or special passages. Secret paths are created through identifying nodes that belong to restricted areas, centre stages or hideaways. Then, identifying formal paths, starting to overlay informal paths like dirt trails or drains. Next to design integrated play areas around such informal tracks. These have unique features and are parallel, alternative routes. They lead to discovery, like a dirt path, service accessway, hidden paths away from main vessels – they encourage a sense of adventure, discovery and exploration.


Centre stages are based around formal hdb artifacts. Individual and community titles are created through morphing formal state-designated nodes. These are high energy spots. Such spaces have maximum circulation and visibility, involving repetitive play, encouraging a sense of showmanship, exhibition, courage and learning. Centre Stages are created through identifying formal nodes around desired areas, mapping circulation and visibility around such nodes and picking the spaces of highest energy. Next, infill pockets of high-energy play into the leftover spaces of such nodes, and then design integrated play areas which stimulate energy and hype.


Individual and Community titles are created through daily occurrences and habits through Hideaways. These are frequent haunts or private homegrounds. These spaces have a sense of enclosure, privacy, sense of ownership and place. Programmatically, they draw children to hang out and frequent. Hideaways are created from identifying banal everyday spaces or practices in the distinct neighbourhoods, like the bus stops, drop off points, bin centres, newspaper delivery routes, bus routes, etc. Next, to look for opportunities where resilient titles or themes can be imbued through distinct design characteristics of spaces, finally designing integrated play areas around such spaces.


These are forbidden nodes, which are equivalent to restricted areas, governed by the need for multiple turns straying away from a regular path. They are accidental, non-institutional spaces or artifacts that the state does not allocate for students. They are spaces of adventure, exploration, rule-breaking, individuality. They aim to encourage characteristics of self-awareness, self-evaluation, balanced risks, yet remaining as safe restricted zones for children to explore. Out of bounds areas are created from first identifying commonly flouted areas and alienated zones, like top floor staircase landings, construction sites, etc. Circulation and visibility are mapped to find most private areas. Next, observe activities that take place in such spaces, marking possibly overlaps with child common actions. From these, design to facilitate or integrate play areas around such spaces.




a dossier reshaping oceanic feeling the search for the lost id prequel to PLAY! guide (01)

As a city-state the relies exponentially on human capital and efficiency, identity and self-worth in Singapore are seemingly latched upon terms of success defined by material titles and possessions. Local education traditionally glorifies intelligence, diligence, grades and results, working like a factory chain; churning out top performers and success stories ready for the next stage of life – secondary school, tertiary education, first job, working population. Badges, medals and certificates are accolades collected along the way, as are material titles that Singaporeans are taught to represent ourselves. Nostalgia is a state-deemed byproduct, materialized through symptoms of failure phobia, empty nest, post-retirement syndrome and throwback films and episodes of one’s youth. Following the trajectory of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis theory and entities of I, the thesis critiques the current societal labyrinth that ditches one’s oceanic feeling; the initial feeling of limitless with the external world; without the existence of one’s ego and superego (read: rules, laws, expectations, requirements, achievements). questions spatial and physical constructs that shape one’s core identity, through the retention of one’s id (read: innate desires and passions) throughout one’s lifetime.


How can the spatial/ physical environment shape personal identity based off the id, through the retention of memories and construction of resilient titles in one’s youth? The anomalies of a promising, fruitful life seem to differentiate themselves through spatial environments and backgrounds, whilst the emergence of ego and superego seem somewhat related to various landscapes throughout one’s life. I lined up the commonplace, typical spaces Singaporeans are exposed to along with their lives. The primary and secondary research revealed discrepancies in such spaces. Extremely apparent was the sense of identity and inclination of past residents, workers, visitors, to go back to the Rail Corridor, whereas other commonplaces like void decks remained purely functional to the residents and familiar faces there, with a void of emotional connection subsumed under the physical, practical considerations of using the space. The Rail Corridor – perhaps frozen in time, seemed to serve as a preserved spine that reminds past users of their memories of the space, a throwback to the events and stories that remind them of their id formation in the place.


Titles serve a key identity marker, and perhaps a tool for reminding oneself of their id. Mapping chronologically the titles attained by an individual throughout one’s life, the nature of titles throughout life differ. Biological and physical traits like that of nationality, location, physical characteristics are ascribed since birth; dictated titles like being a pianist, a student are bestowed to oneself by our guardians in early childhood; personality titles and that based off our interests and passions come later in our youth, where our personalities build up further; transgressing to titles from merit and possessions as we enter institutional spaces in our youth and adulthood. Retirement and old age bring us back a full circle – we seek titles we are passionate about yet again; in certain cases, rekindling longlost ones from our youth, and others finding new interests and hobbies. The flipside – the inability to find new titles or retain old titles; and the loss of the oceanic feeling and the id.


The classification of titles is respective to environment and the presence of certain titles are in constant flux, at the stake of the metamorphosis of physical space. Redevelopment, demolishment and creation form and remove the significance of certain titles respectively; whereas gentrification, whilst seemingly retaining the id of space, tarnish titles that were ascribed to previous programmes and atmospheres of the place. The most resilient form of titles is that from personality traits; formed from the semi-public spaces like the Rail Corridor; unknowingly due to the youthful demographic of the space or its ability to withstand the changes of time. Perhaps, when one is no longer an engineer, a guardian of a child, a reputable director or a handsome, youthful teenager, the personality titles are the ones that remind one of their strong id presence, the door to an attic which holds past memories and the true value of the self, despite transient, ephemeral material titles.

Treasures are everywhere if you look. The derived journey guides are aimed to optimise the finding of treasures, a string of flags that lead one to chapters of their lives, collated into their life stories. Titles no longer make up a person; stories and journeys do. These are everlasting and site-less; up to the individual to create instead of relying of societal rules or communal monuments. These storytelling treasures are classified into four broad groups. Nodes that the state does not allocate for students - spaces that are not intended for the ego building like the mama shops we sneak into between class and CCA, or LAN shops we frequent after school instead of heading for tuition class. High energy or emotional areas, like the class excursion to the zoo, the bench we had our first kisses. Unique or characteristic paths, like the path with mimosas lined up abundantly. Frequent haunts, like the coffeeshop we go to for our favourite chicken rice everyday.





a dreamhome shop house of shelves X hock siong furniture

Adventure Starts Here. Using shelves as the inspiration, solution and product, the second-hand furniture shop is its branding in itself. Served and service spaces are concealed and exposed, public and private; with the discovery of shopping at Hock Siong starting from outside in. In the House of Shelves, Adventure Starts Here. The second-hand furniture shop sits on an area with high visibility, circulation and rich progammatic diversity. Originally a group of Karang Gunis, the furniture shop has distinct traits. Firstly, its rapport between customer and workers, as well as the adventure in finding the shop, entering and discovering eccentric pre-used vintage items. Orientated along Jln Jurong Kechil, with pedestrian access along the two main corners of the building of the busy street, vehicular access is diverted to the quieter Jln Seh Chuan at the back of the building. Housing programs aside from the shop itself, served spaces and their accompanying spaces are situated to conceal and expose - the stage set with its accompanying audience seats and holding rooms; the cafe with accompanying kitchen; library-cum-second-hand bookstore and its accompanying games and study rooms. These activity-filled served spaces are housed vivisbly in the 2nd floor, along the facade of existing most visible spots of the site.


The design of Hock Siong seeks to emulate the adventure aspect of the shop, where adventure starts outside of Hock Siong in terms of visibility, continuing in the journey of product items and the various product installations in the shop. The technique employed in creating this is shelving architecture, using shelves for storage and display, concurrently as structure in terms of steel columns or fins in a gridded 6m x 6m system, eliminating the usual structural elements of visible columns. Instead, the steel gridded columns touch the ground and are connected to timber infills that vary according to the nature of items housed, forming a shelf. Products are then lined up from the 3 entry points with decor small items on the peripheral, larger items like bedding and outdoor furniture near the central green spine, enhancing views and atmosphere. The main circulation vessel up to the 3rd floor is a volumous space with a linear gallery-like display housing clocks, paintings along the back of the shelves, finally cumulating to chandeliers, lights and lamps hanging down from a height, almost creating the effect of a lighting forest. This void space, along with the central green break apart this heavy massing of the shelfhouse. Furthermore, service spaces like that of the carpark enlist a car storage lift system as well as a display of antique cars being sold that come about from the overarching idea of a shelving facade for both service and served spaces, shelving for storage and display.





a 3d printed tropical wall trivoid facade study

Trivoid is a tropical wall. Modular and amalgamated with the aim to create an organic, breathable wall, biomimicry was the primary concept that informed the design. In order to achieve his, Trivoid focuses on and considers various climatic factors, namely: Wind, Sun and Rain. To accommodate Wind, intentional circulatory channels as well as a smoother curvature in form are integrated, in order to maximise the interior air velocity. Delicate tilt for sunshading as well as inbuilt louvres help to reduce sun galre and ensure a well-shaded interior. Lastly, rainwater flow is accounted for by the sinuous curves in the form, which help to channel water while using the water to reduce the building’s latent heat island effect. In addition, structural elements and details are intentionally weaved into the modular facade, ensuring greater stability of the curtain wall while creating a seamless transition between wall and slab.



T R O P I C A L I T YTrivoid’s porous facade is governed by the idea of a comfortable interior envrionment for its users. The convex shape of the middle layer acts as both a shield for the building frome excessive sunlight, illuminating the interior space appropriately, and as a guide for rainwater to trickle down along the surfaces to the ground. The design of these curved surfaces not only maintains the porosity of the facade, keeping the interior space well-ventilated, but also achieve a cross-bracing that provides structural support for the whole facade.




a salvation pavilion work in progress

rebuilding peace entry to Kaira Looro Architectural Competition

In conjunction with Howard Lee, Marcus Liu, Yang Fan The road to peace is a long and tedious one. In a region marred by tension, lasting peace has become the exception, rather than the norm. Decades of intermittent violence and uneasy truce intertwines the hopes for peace together with the despair of war. Sited on a key flashpoint of the conflict, the pavilion sinks into the ground as a gesture of unearthing recent tensions and tragedies of the war. Peeling away from the ground in a symbolic gesture of progress rising from the lowest point of the conflict, the design builds upon the collective history that grounds the community together in a pursuit for lasting peace.




a renovation a h m a’s d r i n k s t a l l pulau ubin renewal

A pilot restoration project part of Project Restoration Ubin Kampong (RUK), Ah Ma Drinks Store (AMDS) worked in collaboration with Ministry of National Development, NParks, Sea Angel and Singapore Heritage Society. The design was through a participatory process and the construction involved local villagers transferring vernacular construction knowledge of interlocking timber joinery to students. Original spatial arrangement and architectural language of columns and pitched roof are adopted, along with timber planks reused in the new construction to keep traces of the past. Signboards written by the late husband are hung on prominent locations.





an exhibition series interplay nus city exhibition 2018

City Exhibition is an annual event which showcases the works of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Urban Design students from NUS School of Design & Environment, Department of Architecture. “Interplay” epitomizes the various dimensions in architecture and their effects on one another – in terms of the interactions between our built environment and the community, and the required teamwork between the public and architects in the future of our city’s urban landscape.




an exhibition series praxis

nus city exhibition 2019

Selected works display on behalf of DP Architects Chalk drawing exhibition for Sponsor Firm Exhibition on selected projects: 1. Novotel, Singapore 2. HomeTeam NS Khatib, Singapore 3. Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 4. Fraser Towers, Singapore 5. iLight: Why Green, Singapore 6. NOIDA IT Park, India 7. Paya Lebar Quarters, Singapore 8. Chung Yang Tower, China



a passion


Forced, Imposed Sleep: this series of prepatory board work explores the idea of forced, imposed sleping forms of being trapped from society, caged up, ostracised from modernity. Being made to be mentally asleep, unlike the ‘awake’ minds of the population. Inspired by Dede Eri Supria’s works of portraying situations and people influenced by the style of photorealism, Asleep depicts the poor living in large urban cities, their plight and living conditions as the country develops and modernises through globalisation. The poor are seen as part of the activity of building and development. Multiple attempts at creating a complexity were made, where common sights in today’s society were incorporated, along with brands that embody commercialisation. Characters chosen involved children and elderly lagging behind in terms of skills and knowledge in the global world, poor inability to survive independently.






tiah nan chyuan ng san son sergio m. figueiredo cheah kok ming zdravko trivic adrian lai tomohisa miyauchi for educating and inspiring

family, friends,

for being the biggest motivation for years of companionship and support

and every individual, any or every step of the way

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