36 & 38 Armenian Street is a commercial development located in the heart of Singapore’s arts and heritage precinct. It consists of a row of refurbished four-storey art deco-style shophouses built during the 1930s and 1940s, and a new six-storey rear extension. The latter offers SOHO-style accommodation on the upper floors, and shops and eateries on the lower floors. The adjoining four-storey section has been designed to house a private art gallery.
The redevelopment of the site aimed to revitalise the building but also add vibrancy to the precinct. As such, the project was conceived as three layers – the conserved portion along the street, the new rear extension, and a green interface layer in between. The existing buildings were carefully reinstated to their original condition. New green courtyards on levels 2, 3, and 4 punctuate the deep interiors to admit light and ventilation. They are aligned to form a cascading linear green vista between the old and new built forms.
An extensive landscaped deck was introduced to level 2 and physically links the structures. It also functions as a communal breakout area, providing relief in the densely built-up urban environment. The conserved block extends into the rear annex at levels 2 and 3. From levels 4 to 6, the extension is expressed as distinctive horizontal layers of traversing volumes. Level 6 hovers lightly above the conserved block to subtly register its presence. Its glass envelope features distinct vertical sunshading fins, inspired by the art deco motif on the existing facade of the former Mayfair Hotel.