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Prologue This portfolio showcases a series of work that manifests the idea of purity/monumentalism on tectonic expression and thoughtfulness in spatial planning to see how architecture can be visually perceived as a strong statement while it also has the capacity to grant richness for architectural spaces. Building envelope of these projects is served as a wedge that to delineate the outer world from the spaces beneath it. It expresses and environmentally performs. And the architectural space is curated as such it spatially narrates the poetic story behind. We must have dual expression in architecture in order to communicate with people and with environment differently but the relationship between people and environment is mediated and articulated through architecture itself. These studio and competition projects challenge the manifestation of duality in all kinds of building typology, from monument to skyscraper, from housing to power plants. The experimentations of manifesto implementation on different academic projects are drawn and represented in this portfolio, from 2015 to 2018.

KYRA SWEE Architecture design portfolio NUS x UTAS

Content 01 Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration


02 Collaboratory


03 Library @ Park


04 Let’s Ride, Flash Community


05 Mauer


06 PIN | UP eVolo Skyscraper 2017


07 Silence Speaks


08 ACIPA | Symphony


09 Live-work-play Terrarium


10 Ancient Rome Re-imagined


11 Entombment of Fear




DEATH’S RITUAL RE-INVIGORATION Columbarium in the Community

Project adviser : Mr. Alan Tay (Formwerkz Architects) RIBA Part 1 External Examiner: Dr. Donald Bates & Mr. Wong Chiu Man (WOW architects) Individual Project NUS Studio 6 with Distinction

Land is one of many precious resources gifted from Mother Earth. In Singapore, it is the most limited resource. This leads to an issue regarding the decency of settling the dead because land is primarily reserved for housing and transportation to serve the ever-growing population. In such conditions, traditional archetypes of rituals must be redefined as a new columbarium typology. The proposed project site has a close proximity to housing developments, yet it is not too accessible. Thus, it allows for the community to determine their own level of physical contact with a space for the dead. Ultimately, an urban leftover space in between the Clementi housing estates and the Ayer-Rajah Expressway is selected for a re-imagination of a columbarium for the local Chinese Taoist demographic. Architecturally, the building is derived from traditional Chinese tomb sweeping rituals and the analysis of local context. The design revives the ritualistic experience of tomb sweeping, something that was lost during the typological transformation from tomb to niche. Yet, it does not compromise on the dead space that needs to be invisible from above ground.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

ISSUES Pg 1 Lost ritual meaning in the transformation from Tomb to niche. (Images above) Pg 2 Disconnection between community and space for the dead.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

Mandai Columbarium

Choa Chu Kang Columbarium & Cemetery

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Map 01 Allocation of Singapore burial ground & Columbarium

Map 02 Singapore Housing Estate distribution

Map 03 Disconnectivity: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration



Kent Vale

Casa Clementi




West Coast Park


Clementi Wood Park

PROXIMITY: Clementi Estate The project thesis started with site selection where Clementi estate is the project testing ground. Pg.11. No Man’s Land: An urban leftover space in between community estate, an expressway cloverleaf is selected for the project site.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration



Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

FORM: Pg 12. The architectural intervention is derived from historical references of Taoist’s rituals during the Qing Ming Festival. The burning of incense papers is one of the main ritual that was to be reinvigorated. Pg 13. Computational models test the form through analysis of existing context and site, as well as the appropriateness of the building perimeter juxtaposed with the surrounding buildings.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

DESIGN: Pg 14. Axonometric: The result of the final architectural form derived from site forces and analysis. Despite the architecture is isolated from the surrounding, visual connection continues even from afar. Practically speaking, the towers serve as the columbarium and the burning of incense paper. Pg 15. +4m, Site plan: Carpark, Landscape, Adjacent buildings and Project location.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

Site plan +4m


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration



Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

DESIGN: Pg 19. Main Hall -3m: The arriving hall married with the landscape by embeding the architecture into existing slope. Open air central courtyard provided daylight to the basement spaces as well as natural ventilation. Programmatically, the main hall consists of lift lobby, spaces to columbarium towers, incense paper shop and the Taoist’s temple at the rear.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

Basement plan


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

PROCESSION: Pg 21. The design emphasises the transistional sensation through difference in mass, level and height in order to create thresholds. The section shows designated threshold aligned with the main axis, from exterior to interior.


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration



Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

THE TAOIST RITUAL: Temple entrance perspective


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

DESIGN: Pg 24. Partial tower model shows facade and interior space, 1: 50 scale Pg 25. Tower typical floor plans


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

+76m Ritual space Deck, furnace core & circulation

Columbarium plan Niches, furnace core & circulation


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration



Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

Overall model, 1: 200

Tower partial model, 1: 50

TECTONIC SYSTEM Pg. 27 Exploded structural axonometric


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration

Enlarged portion

TECTONIC SYSTEM Pg. 29 Detailed section (Tower)


Death’s Ritual Re-invigoration






COLLABORATORY The Shareable city: 24/7 High dense co-working and start-up community in Dover

Project adviser : Dr. Cho Im Sik & Prof. Heng Chye Kiang Group & Individual Project Group project for Masterplanning in collaboration with Valerie Khong & Dong Hyuk Joon NUS Studio 7 with Distinction

In this digital era, new technology constantly emerges to redefine our lives. The conventional working model is set to be replaced by offline jobs, as improvements in telecommunication methods bring people closer together. The increased efficiency and time savings that the work-at-home model provides is gaining popularity. Additionally, traditional jobs will be replaced by applied technology and robotics. New jobs of the future will be created by entrepreneurs. The Collaboratory is a community that caters to the growing the work-at-home and entrepreneurial population with coworking and cohousing design strategies employed in a medium scale project site. The masterplan design intends to maximise flexibility and interactivity on different levels, from the main street, public spaces, and residential spaces to the interiors of unit spaces through the use of a modular framework system, interlaced volumes and terraced platforms. Social interaction between different users and visual connection on different spaces will stimulate a dynamic community, one that embodies the spirit of innovation and collaboration.



RESEARCH (Group component): Pg. 34 Masterplanning of proposed Dover site. Site area: 360,000 sqm Proposed plot ratio: 4.9 Total GFA: 1,760,000 sqm Total housing units: 8000 (approx.) Pg 35. Mind map shows the issues on working and living in Singapore context AND design objective





Unit types distribution



MASTERPLANNING: Pg 36. Overall massing diagrams Pg 37. Conceptual massing diagram for housing types.





PRECINCT DESIGN (Individual component): Pg 38, 39. Podium level floor plan of Independent design, +8m. The design is taking 6 plots adjacent to Dover MRT station to maximize convenience for start-up and people who come here for idea exchange. The design of Collaboratory is based on the manipulation of GFA distribution and wayfinding throughout the 7ha site.





PRECINCT DESIGN: Pg 41. Design diagrams: Massing distribution and Wayfinding The design is taking 6 plots adjacent to Dover MRT station to maximize convenience for start-up and people who come here for idea exchange. The design of Collaboratory is based on the manipulation of GFA distribution and wayfinding throughout the 7ha site.





PRECINCT DESIGN: Pg 42, 43. Exploded Axonometric drawing: Programmatic overview Circulation, amenities distribution and Unit types distribution





FLOOD PLAIN PERSPECTIVE: Ground level public space is well connected to nature and amenities. Terrace form design are to maximize visual connectivity between all levels. The mega framework system is used to create an ultimate flexible spaces for all type of users, from house holders in Dover to general public who visit the place.










The reversible strategy allows space to be more resilience when the occupying situation is ever changing.









SECTIONAL PERSPECTIVE: An ultimate flexible community for budding start-up and entrepreneur The use of mega-structural frame system forms spaces for different type of user. Public are visually connected with working spaces for residents at all levels while mingling around the public datum. The framework system is also aim to nurture future entrepreneur by providing space for future start-up and expansion.





LIBRARY @ PARK ArchMedium Competition: London Public Library

Individual Project Honourable Mention entry June 2015

Potter’s Field Park is regenerated into a public realm, the London Park Library. The design responds to the park existing use patterns, either by conserving/enhancing the positive characteristics or by remedying the shortcomings. The new masterplan further improves the connections to create a more vibrant, interactive public space and more accessible streets. Conceptually, the library design, which is embedded into underground, evokes the intangible of knowledge. Publicly accessible areas, such as the grand hall, magazine room and cafÊ, will be arranged above ground level; while, the main shelves area and private study rooms will be arranged on basement levels according to each particular area privacy level. Green terraces and underground courtyards are to generate more porous spaces and create conducive study environment. Along the park’s footpath, it traces over the history and culture of Potters Field Park and it is interlaced with the new library programmes to encourage more public activities. and encounter. London park library becomes not a mere continuity, it is a central node of the entire masterplan.


Library @ Park

CONCEPT: Preservation and Revitalization of Potter field park in London. The proposed design addresses the key issues of brief: 3 times of site area for library programmes and 100% green preservation of Potter field park by embedding 90% of library spaces to underground. Only the key activation nodes like the tower, cafe and kindergarten will be surfaced on top and served as entrance points to underground library.


Library @ Park


Library @ Park

AXONOMETRIC: Preservation and Revitalization of Potter field park in London. The drawing shows the visual relationship between the vista buildings, embedded library programmes and park goers.


Library @ Park


Library @ Park



Library @ Park


Library @ Park


Library @ Park






LET’S RIDE, FLASH COMMUNITY Health screening station @ Choa Chu Kang MRT station

Project adviser : Mr. Chu Lik Ren Individual Project NUS Studio 5

In the daily routine, people are keen to take public transport to their destination. As the public health screening station will be launched nearby MRT station to provide free medical check-up for residents or the community, the design aims to cater commuters who are taking the public transport. The design consists of 3 rectilinear blocks. In between each programmatic block, the walkable thoroughfare will visually connect commuters, passer-by and people who are undergoing the health screening processes. Linearity generated by the blocks forms a series of force perspective that leads people to walk through the entire screening station. From the programmatic aspect, the design provides extra facilities and utilities like toilet, locker, shower room, bike station and bike parking area for commuter. Central courtyard space serves as skate area for skateboarder and fitness playground for kids and children during the daytime and it can be transformed into an outdoor performance stage to serve the cafĂŠ in the evening. Lastly, the prolonged thoroughfare and bike track offer a shortcut travel for commuter and cyclist to the MRT station.


Let’s Ride, Flash Community



Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community

PROGRAMME Distribution of programmes according to security, time and function.


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community

LAYERS Each linear box is representing certain function and arranged according to programme type and usage period.


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community

CROSS-PROGRAMMING (Skatepark x performance space) Courtyard perspective


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community

OVERALL AXONOMETRIC | Hedonistic Screening Experience |


Let’s Ride, Flash Community

REGISTRY AND WAITING HALL Conducive waiting environment through colour and material.


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community


Let’s Ride, Flash Community




MAUER ArchMedium competition: Berlin University Residence

In collaboration with Stephan Shen & Tan Yong Kiat Finalist Feburary 2016

Since the reunification of Germany, Berlin has become home to a community of international street artists. Our design concept, Mauer, explores the possibilities of combining a residential space and a public art space. We aim to integrate Mauer as part of the Berlin Public Art Tour with other famous street arts such as The Lads, Hour Glass, and Pink Man etc. This trail of public street art will offer tourists and the public a taste of the city’s creative side. For the design of Mauer, we choose to orientate our buildings inwards towards a central courtyard instead of facing the graffiti. The back walls of the residential blocks then become additional urban canvases for local artists’ interventions, injecting public art space back into the city. The public is given free rein to paint their creativity onto these walls. And every few months, student residents will curate this graffiti before it is painted over to make way for a new wave of artworks, celebrating the transient nature of street-art, the uncertainty and fleeting moments shared in such ordinary spaces. The documented artworks will serve as a work-in-progress that would eventually culminate into the evolution of Berlin Artscape that is shaped by its political and social forces.











UNIT LAYOUT Housing unit types for student, long term and short term visitors.





DUALITY Landscape at inner courtyard creates livable environment for the residents and contrasts with the graffiti external wall which is representing the local culture.





PIN | UP eVolo Skyscrper competition 2017

In collaboration with Stephan Shen January 2017

“Without memory, there will be no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.� - Elie Wiesel Heritage building used to hold momentous value in societies. These important architectures such as churches, cathedrals often act as nodes, and civilizations flourished within their vicinity due to their symbolic, religious, civic and social functions. As civilizations continue to urbanize, developing into the cities we know today, heritage buildings now serve as reminders of the city’s culture and complexity. Urbanization, particularly the growing number of skyscrapers, constitutes a mounting threat to cultural heritage sites in city areas. At risk are not only archaeological sites, but traditional architecture and other locations of cultural heritage. More often than not, we see buildings with rich cultural and architectural history being torn down in the name of development as space in city gets more scarce and expensive. This is because society as a whole is moving toward a model of high-rise and high-dense environment. This phenomenon is predicted to be more prevalent in future cities, resulting in waves of histories being deleted, and cities in the future might end up being packed with soaring developments but void of past memories. This should not be the direction that cities should go as the loss of cultural heritage can affect multiple generations by permanently erasing their cultural memories and severing established links with the past. The proposed solution P.I.N|UP, aims to address this imminent issue of future cities by allowing city development to co-exist alongside historical preservation. London is the financial centre of the world with rich cultural significance however UNESCO has named London as worst example of architecture preservation experience. The proposal will have its pilot implementation in London and goes globally upon seeing positive results.



104 PIN | UP



ENLARGED SECTIONAL ISO | St. Paul Cathedral pin dimension |

106 PIN | UP

SECTION | St. Paul Cathedral pin dimension |



“Memories are the Architecture of our Identity� - Gregory Dowell PIN|UP is a new approach of heritage preservation that will influence the appearance and texture of future cities. It recognizes the detriment of heritage destruction, while acknowledging that societies, particularly in urban environments, are bound to expand and develop in such a manner that threatens cities’ cultural identity. Skyscraper typology will become ubiquitous in future cities, and this vertical typology can also be utilized for heritage preservation. By lifting the heritage building up into the sky, it also frees up the ground floor for urbanisation. This method removes the dilemma for both urban planners and the heritage professionals. This means that developments can still continue underneath while the heritage building retains its preservation space above. In order not to lose the spirit of conservation and the memories associated to its surrounding context, the heritage building will remain pinned to its original site, and the pin itself becomes a symbolic icon which holds momentous value in the future. Within the pin, the heritage building becomes the object to marvel and cherish. Galleries exhibited along the circular ramp enable visitors to better comprehend the history of the building. While traversing along the ramp, they are also able to view the physical architecture at various angles and the ever-changing urban landscape encompassing the pin.

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SILENCE SPEAKS BeeBreeder competition: Baltic way memorial

In collaboration with Stephan Shen December 2015

A fundamental tenet of nonviolent resistance is remaining silent in the face of rage, authority, or hate and is a powerful symbol of inner peace and strength. To promote the power of non-violent protests such as the Baltic Way in bringing about the change that the people want to see, we have created a design concept for a new memorial space called “Silence Speaks�. The building form is of a tall rectilinear granite slab, its minimal and pure design allow it to be attention grabbing with its stark contrast with the surrounding.


Silence Speaks

SITE The proposed design addresses site issues such as footprint, service area and distribution of overall programme on site

112 Silence Speaks


Silence Speaks

114 Silence Speaks

MONOLITH As the public steps into the monolith and underground, silence provokes thoughts and heightens emotions. Echoes of past events can be heard and seen as one traverse through the different gallery spaces. Light breaking into the monumental structure at various key locations symbolizes a sense of freedom, just like how the Baltic Way demonstration was able to break apart the USSR occupation and gaining independence for the Baltic countries in 1991. Outside the monument, a park offers paths where the public may walk, sit and play. Along the paths, human chain railings symbolizing the 2 million protestors brings the public closer to the event spiritually and directs them towards the monolith physically. The modern glass and granite exterior juxtapose with the rustic copper interior, transporting the public through time. While the interior celebrates the power of non-violent acts in the past, we begin this memorial with the idea that non-violent protest is still an effective tool in the modern society today.


Silence Speaks

DESIGN The design emphasises “silience speaks� through bodily experience, by using with volume and mass. Grand volume of monolith interior heighten the idea of non-violent protest while the narrow underground corridor contrast the experience and expresses the annihilation of freedom during soviet occupation period.

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Silence Speaks

MOMENT OF SILENCE As light breaks into the monumental thick slab, it illuminates and reflects off the rustic red interior – the color of USSR, symbolizing a sense of freedom like how the Baltic Way breaks apart the USSR occupation.

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Silence Speaks

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ACIPA | Symphony Academy of Creative Industries and Performing Art

Project adviser : Ms. Jen Smit & Mr. Scott Christensen Individual Project University of Tasmania, Design Studio 6 with Distinction

CxI will host elements of interdisciplinary practices that reflect UTAS strengths in theatre, art, architecture, design, content creation, digital media, and human-computer interaction. The project seeks to foster links between these disciplines, taking advantage of the NBN (national broadband network) which brings increases in bandwidth, speed and fidelity. Central to the CxI Project is capacity building - it will ‘produce the producers’ of the next generation. The site, known as Wapping corner, is a potential new key location in the pedestrian routes through the city centre, assisting in creating a link between the CBD and the waterfront. It is at the west end of Collins Street, opposite City Hall and the Hobart Hospital where the city’s rivulet emerges from the underground channel that lies beneath the city.


ACIPA | Symphony

ADJACENCY ACIPA site is situated at the cross-road, along the hobart rivulet and Campbell streeet to waterfront.

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ACIPA | Symphony

126 ACIPA | Symphony

Programme type & size


ACIPA | Symphony

128 ACIPA | Symphony


ACIPA | Symphony

KINETIC FACADE SYSTEM ACIPA & CxI project is a Symphony. It accommodates interdisciplinary users and cross programmed brief within a building. As such characteristic of building program, it evokes the design to plays with static and dynamic, and solid and light through the material composition on façade system. The journey from external to internal is narrating different experiences to the public user, same as the music movement in symphony. The undulating sensation is created by existing theatre royal fabric and new build structure and volume. Beyond the boundaries, ACIPA entrance is communicating the intersection point of Campbell and Collin’s street, further elongated the waterfront and Hobart CBD. In detail, the building plinth is an extension of Hedberg garage which constructed with brickwork as public seating area along the street meanwhile the upper façade system uses of perforated kinetic façade which reflects the larger context namely the mountain wellington and waterfront. From ACIPA elevation, the material used can be reinterpreted as a music score, the bass (brickwork) and treble (perforated metal) composed with vertical (column) and horizontal (SHS) structure. It is an urban focal point, the prolonged seating area and courtyard at sun street corner juxtaposed with kinetic façade further enhance the street quality and walking experience. When the wind blown, the façade is visually and acoustically strengthen the concept of Symphony. Conceptually it plays with properties of material and colour to expose the emotion and identity of ACIPA, Theatre royal and Hedburg garage.

130 ACIPA | Symphony

CAMPBELL STREET FACADE | Technical details |




LIVE-WORK-PLAY Terrarium Redefining high-rise mixed use typology in Bugis, Singapore

Project adviser : Mr. Hans Brouwer (HB Design) Individual Project NUS Studio 8 with Distinction

Within many Asia cities such as Singapore or Hong Kong, developers prioritizes capitalizing every single plot of available land, thus to them, efficiency and maximization of plot ratio are always the primary concerns, particularly in designing mixed use architecture. The conventional method of designing mixed use building has been carrying out for decades- the stratified podium-tower model. Commercial and public accessible spaces are concentrated at the podium level while housing towers are situated on top of the podium. Hence, the inner spatial quality and connectivity on ground plane of tall building is often overlooked and disengaged. During site selection, Bugis was picked as a testing ground for this project to rethink a new typology for mixed use architecture that will not compromise either the real estate value or user experience in the downtown area of land-scarce Singapore. The design seeks to overturn the conventional podium-tower model by compartmentalizing programmes into parcels and packages within a single framework. Each compartmentalized space is designed in a destination-oriented manner, with commercial and other public domains injected as supporting component to draw people to travel vertically. By taking city planning as reference for the architecture mobility, vertical circulation system is arranged and situated responsively to cater different programme needs and to provide a clear wayfinding for public. Live-work-play Terrarium challenges the conventional planning method for high-rise mixed use typology and emphasises on the internal spatial relationship- the new spatial relationship between users and programmes in a vertical perspective.


Live-Work-Play Terrarium

TYPICAL MIXED-USE TYPOLOGY IN LOCAL CONTEXT Commercial component is often situated at the podium level meanwhile residential/office units are located on top of/separated from the podium.

134 Live-Work-Play Terrarium

REDEFINING MIXED-USE MODEL Redistribution of commercial and public space to support anchor programmes (Cultural, offices and housing)


Live-Work-Play Terrarium

136 Live-Work-Play Terrarium


Live-Work-Play Terrarium

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Live-Work-Play Terrarium

CITY BLOCKS AND OPEN SPACES AS PODIUM By elevating the tower block, it free up the ground area for landscape and to be more porous and flexible for different types of activity.

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Live-Work-Play Terrarium

GROUND PLAZA 142 Live-Work-Play Terrarium


Live-Work-Play Terrarium

BLACK BOX THEATRE FOYER 144 Live-Work-Play Terrarium


Live-Work-Play Terrarium

Sectional perspective

146 Live-Work-Play Terrarium


Live-Work-Play Terrarium

STUDIO & OFFICE AREA 148 Live-Work-Play Terrarium


Live-Work-Play Terrarium



Live-Work-Play Terrarium

Sectional perspective

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Live-Work-Play Terrarium

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Live-Work-Play Terrarium

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ANCIENT ROME RE-IMAGINED BeeBreeder Competition: Rome Concrete Poetry Hall

In collaboration with Stephan Shen Honourable Mention July 2016

The Choice of Language “Poetry is as precise a thing as Geometry” Gustave Flaubert, French writer “Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.” Audre Lorde, African American Writer Concrete has been an integral material in construction since the time of the Roman Empire. Today, it is the most widely used man-made material. And yet, can we truly recognize concrete’s enduring significance without grasping the historical moments in Roman Architecture? Which is to say, can we understand an artist without gaining a feel for its art? A philosopher without some glimpse into what he believed? In the 21st century, software-generated algorithms and geometry often make the shaping and structuring of concrete as deliberately iconic or controversial to avoid looking dull and lifeless. Yet, The poetic nature of concrete architecture is not just about shape-making. To us, there was, and is, something in the structure, rhythm, and aesthetic of the Rome architecture language that gives many of its building a poetic nature. In the context of our “poem”, the languages utilised are the concrete columns, arcs, and domes. We seek to use this indigenous language of Rome to give form and function to an urban configuration and architectural design that would fit into the old town of Rome and yet, upon closer inspection, appears contemporary. In another word, to this age-old language of soaring repetitive columns, spanning arcs and domes, we mix in another; the poetic nature of modern concrete.


Ancient Rome Re-imagined

162 Ancient Rome Re-imagined


Ancient Rome Re-imagined


164 Ancient Rome Re-imagined

Exploded axonometric


Ancient Rome Re-imagined

UNDERGROUND BASILLICA During the day, natural light illuminates the interior multipurpose hall through the oculus. The lighting system is reversed at night, light generated from activities within the hall brighten the exterior space above.

166 Ancient Rome Re-imagined




Ancient Rome Re-imagined

RHYTHM OF COLUMN The concrete column was an important architecture breakthrough which allowed for the support of ceilings without the use of solid walls, thereby increasing the space which could be spanned by a ceiling, allowing the entrance of light and offering an alternative aesthetic to building exteriors. Eventually, columns became so much a part of the aesthetic look of a building that the columns themselves began to become independent artistic elements. Our design aims to celebrate the structural and aesthetical breakthrough brought by the invention of concrete column, using it to regulate the internal and external experience; we push the limit of the columns’ height and thickness, hinting to the public of the unlimited structural potential of concrete in the future. Within the Poetry Hall, the orderly repetition of optical similarities - the columns, establish a kind of rhythm of intuition, which then structures all the subsequent interior and exterior user experience. Human beings seek patterns and will naturally see them in spaces; the regular and predictable repetition of the columns will fabricate a soothing environment for the public. Each space within highlight this absolute rhythmic order, for example solid, void, solid, void, just as one would count one, two, one, two; a rhythm that is easily perceptible to both visitors and passersby. Slight variations to the column rhythm and orientation - as seen at the tram stops and near curving spaces, help break the monotony and offers occasional surprises to the visitors during their exploration. The rhythm of the columns activates the interior space, leading visitors from the tram stops; to the cafÊ; down the steps to the conference rooms; and around the multipurpose exhibition hall.

170 Ancient Rome Re-imagined




ENTOMBMENT OF FEAR A progressive architectural movement towards nuclear-free in Japan Thesis supervisor: Mr. Tsuto Sakamoto M.Arch Thesis Design Individual project 2017- 2018

“We begin with something exciting, soon the mistake happened then we start to compromise, we create our own demon.” - Tony Stark, Iron Man 3 Nuclear power generation, one of the greatest inventions to secure future energy has become an issue that threatens us. We hope to live without putting our lives, our loved ones and our future under risk, in the name of technological advancement. But sometimes risk has become a necessity for human civilization. Historically mankind has made high-risk decisions in order to move the society forward, and at time it may result in sacrifice, horror, trauma and post-traumatic stress like fear and anxiety. An example of such risk is the usage of nuclear energy in Japan. Unfortunately, Fukushima triggered the Tohoku undersea earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that brought devastation to the region where the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants is located. This deathly event caused nuclear reactor meltdown and created an irreversible environmental damage at a global scale. This unprecedented disaster led the Japan government to re-examine nuclear power generation in high seismic zones and subsequently the suspension of all nuclear power plants’ operations across the nation. The proposed energy generation system through nuclear fission is supposed to perform flawlessly in an ideal condition, but contingencies always occur in reality. Consequently, the question of how such contingency should be handled has become a major concern since its invention in the 1940s. Until today, it is still unclear on the proper way to handle a nuclear disaster, and this has resulted in a perceived fear in adopting nuclear as an energy source. However, nuclear reactivation is inevitable for resource-poor Japan. Japan can upgrade their nuclear technology to one that is safer, but the public sentiment towards nuclear power generation in Japan remains challenging to overcome. The balance between the continuation of nuclear power generation and the negative public sentiment towards it needs to be worked out in a tactful approach. By taking Chernobyl New Safety Confinement (NSC) as the precedent study - the process of entombing the damaged nuclear reactor has inspired the thesis to explore the idea of entombment as a solution to strive the balance between public sentiment and nuclear power generation. The entombing of nuclear plants sends the message that nuclear energy is being phased out and the entombment also provides a sense of safety for the people of Japan. This thesis, therefore, aspires to propose entombment for Hamaoka nuclear power plants in Omaezaki due to the region is anticipating an earthquake within the next 30 years. Taking into account the fear and anxiety caused by previous nuclear accidents, the entombment design aims to provoke fear and raises the awareness about the limitation of technology. In addition, it also demonstrates the nation’s strong determination to phase out nuclear power usage through entombment build-up for Hamaoka nuclear power plants. Ultimately, the thesis envisages that through entombing the Hamaoka nuclear power plants in Omaezaki, it will aid in the progressive phasing out of nuclear energy while providing the energy needed until Japan has adopted an alternative energy option in the near future.


Entombment of Fear

PROCESS AS NEW FORM OF MONUMENTALITY Hamaoka nuclear power plant complex went through different phases of construction and infrastructure upgrade throughout decades as showed in the morphology timeline diagram. From building, deactivating, upgrading and now restarting, it shows a close relationship between the nuclear power plants and the issues related to politics, environment and economy in both domestics and global scale. As now the state is restarting the power plants in order to reinvigorate its economy. Hence, the thesis proposes to design the next phase for Hamaoka nuclear power plants: An entombing process, due to the proliferated fear and anxiety created by the nuclear reactivation. In order to entomb the highly radioactive nuclear power plant, the choice of construction material is crucial. Based on the suggestion from precedent study (Chernobyl concrete sarcophagus) and literature review, concrete has excellent durability and good in radiation shielding due to the high density of the material. Furthermore, the process of formwork making and concrete casting will also manifest the spirit of craftsmanship. The concrete making process will reflect not only the physical requirement of entombment but also the ontological meaning of structure. Ultimately, the long-duration of entombing process expresses as a new form of monumentality of place, a never-ending-process that symbolizes the spirit and determination of people that stand against nuclear power generation.

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Entombment of Fear

ENTOMBING THE FEAR The thesis design takes nuclear power plants’ entombment, and interim spent fuel facilities as a compulsory term and condition for the reactivation of Hamaoka nuclear power plants. The term of “entombment” is suggesting an end or termination of life. However, the entombment will not terminate the operation of Hamaoka nuclear power plants promptly. It will only be entombed and annihilated entirely through automated concrete pouring when the emergency situation (natural disasters or meltdown) occurred, or an alternate renewable energy option has been invented to replace nuclear power generation. There are 2 scenarios that the thesis design is speculating: 1) Contingency happened and the mechanism of tomb will be activated to minimize the aftermath impact from meltdown. 2) A peaceful phase out of nuclear power plants in Japan before the contingency happened.

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Entombment of Fear

MASSING Massing diagram of infrastructure morphology of Hamaoka nuclear power plants complex.

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2018 DECOMMISSION PREQUEL: CONFRONTING THE FEAR The nuclear reactivation plan initiated by Shizuoka prefecture and Chubu electric company has scheduled unit 3 and unit 4 to be the next restarting nuclear power plants from Hamaoka complex. Thus, the entombment construction will be commenced along with the nuclear power plant reactivation as a part of disaster prevention and emergency measure for future threats. Although the threat is raging, however it is not imminent, the construction of tomb therefore can be gradually building up across years. Hence, the process of tomb construction will be seen as a new phenomenon on site- a power plant’s entombing process, till the day all the nuclear power plant units are completely entombed and decommissioned safely.

Above: Hamaoka nuclear power plants unit 3’s tomb ongoing construction as new phenomenon of site.

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2036 Dehumanization of space The design of Hamaoka nuclear power plants’ entombment is largely based on automated system for crane, concrete batching and pouring, façade maintenance and etc to reduce the need of manpower in high radiation level environment. As the construction of tomb has been carried out for decades following up with the nuclear power plants’ reactivation, thus before 2040, the three entombments for Hamaoka Unit 3, 4 and 5 will be scheduled for completion and ready to face the catastrophic disaster in the near future.

Left: Sectional perspective of Hamaoka nuclear power plant’s entombment.


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2042 THE ACT OF GOD AND THE ENTOMBMENT On the day when the anticipated disaster arrives, the tomb will be immediately concealed by concrete through automated concrete batching and pouring system. The moment when tsunami invades the nuclear power plants complex will be a testimonial of how mankind goes against the power of Mother Nature. In Japanese word (想定外 sou-te-gai), which means beyond the expectation, preparation for the unknown threat is always insufficient as there are contingency and unexpected event. We can only base on the information and technology we have on hand and do as much as we can to protect the vulnerable Hamaoka nuclear power plants, once and for all.

Above: Rendered perspective of Tokai earthquake and subsequent tsunami invading Hamaoka complex.

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MECHANISM Flood prevention system, automated concrete batching and pouring system and other defensive system to minimize the aftermath impact of nuclear leakage.


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2043 POST-DISASTER MEASURES Right after the outbreak of natural disaster, the entombment is designed to repair the damaged structure in order to prevent any potential radiation leakage. At the lower part of entombment wall, the steel structure is designed to support the main wall and to allow scaffolding to be set up on site for structural amendment works. The repairing works have to be completed within a tight frame of time in order to prevent any failure of structure that would result in significant consequences. Therefore, the original tomb surface cannot be fully restored due to the lower quality of workmanship. The unevenness of concrete surface will represent a visual layer of contingency. Like a scar on the skin, although it is healed, however, it cannot be completely recovered from past year incident that caused the wound. Right: Sectional perspective of tomb facade and the post-disaster measure works on site.

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CONCRETE FACADE MAINTENANCE Detailed floor plan +15m

Scaffolding is setting up for concrete facade amendment works.

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THE “CONTINGENCY” EXPRESSION The unevenness and roughness of amended concrete at the lower part of facade visually express contingency in an emergency situation.

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Refilling the “filament� for facade amendment works

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THE “CONTINGENCY” EXPRESSION Physical Sectional model in 1: 500





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2059 SEQUEL: RUIN AS A VISUAL PALIMPSEST OF PLACE From the predicted scenarios, Hamaoka nuclear power plants are expected to be fully decommissioned once Japan has adopted an alternative energy option or once after the anticipated disaster. The decommissioned nuclear power plant complex will be soon planted with sunflower as people believe the flower might be able to detoxify the site from radioactive substances. Eventually, the landscape on site will become a symbolic representation of spirit of people that try to recover from trauma, a hope for people who have suffered from the pain. In the later years after decommissioning, a series of additional work will be adding on to create a route for tourist to sightsee. All the structures will be integrating with the existing structures in order to minimize impact on the original fabric. The elevated walkway on site marks as a demarcation that detaches from the contaminated ground and representing another layer of circulation for new programme. At the end of the line, the complex will be overturned from a dehumanized space into a place reclaimed by nature. Nonetheless, the mystic of place is not fully revealed as the tomb is still remaining concealed and distance away from human being with its monolithic and monumental expression. What has left in our mind is the fear from the anthropocentric object we created which goes against the rule of nature. Above: Afterlife of Hamaoka nuclear power plant complex.

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SITE PLAN Ruin state of Hamaoka nuclear power plant as Dark tourism site. Reuse of existing infrastructures for tourist sightseeing.









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AFTERLIFE OF STRUCTURE FOR FACADE MAINTENANCE The afterlife of structures will be reused and modified as a route for tourist to sightsee.

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AFTERLIFE of STRUCTURE The modification of scaffolding for facade amendment works is curated in such the visitor can understand the nuclear power plants complex in a more intimate experience through narrow pathway and touch element (the concrete wall).

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VIEW FROM SEAWALL The connection between 2 walls (entombment and seawall) are connected by scaffolding and provides a seamless walkway for the visitors.


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AFTERLIFE OF STRUCTURE FOR FACADE MAINTENANCE The intimacy relationship between the visitor and the “horror”, the amended concrete on tomb. The texture is seen as a touch element for visitors when they walk pass the structure, the bodily experience of walking through the narrow scaffolding platform with protruding concrete wall showcases the intimidation of nuclear power generation to the visitors.

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DEMARCATION The demarcation from ground can be seen as a detachment from potential contaminated surface and a new paradigm for incoming visitor.

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VIEWING as STRATEGY The 12m tall observation tower provided visitor a visual navigation when they are physically bounded by the structure within Hamaoka nuclear power plants complex.

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LAYERING of WEDGE Although the platform allows visitor to navigate their postion within the complex, however, the overall sight line is still restricted within the complex due to the hierarchy of height difference of wall.


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SUBTLETY Elevated walkway is constructed with steel section and wire mesh in order to minimize the visual impact of new intervention to the ruin.

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Kyra Swee Architecture Design Portfolio  

Portfolio consists of studio projects, design competitions and M.Arch thesis at the National University of Singapore and University of Tasma...

Kyra Swee Architecture Design Portfolio  

Portfolio consists of studio projects, design competitions and M.Arch thesis at the National University of Singapore and University of Tasma...