Realising Hidden PotentialThe project arises as part of nationwide master planning, in providing public accessibility to the north-eastern region of Singapore, as the district is being developed into a residential centre housing nearly 100,000 homes – high density housing that comprises both private and public developments – upon full maturity of the new town. Punggol Promenade has its beginnings as modest environmental improvement works to the existing coastline skirting around the edge of the residential town, for enabling seamless pedestrian connectivity along the waterfront. The early project brief involved bridging over of existing drainage canals that interrupt a continuous passageway along the shoreline, as well as provision of washroom and rest-stop facilities, a rather utilitarian scope of works that spurred the design team to delve deeper into the potential of the site, to uncover the essence of place for this rare piece of hinterland that has evaded development for decades. Crafting Meaningful SpacesMajor challenges include prudent utilization of limited funds, and encapsulating an enduring vision of waterfront living in the promenade design that could resonate with future surrounding housing developments that are in the pipeline. Varied experiences along the 4.9 kilometre promenade have to be designed for, while maintaining a sense of coherence and continuity throughout this journey. Interventions are deliberately formulated as extrapolations of unique site-specific conditions, which then convey new layers of meaning through the process of experience. For instance, as a landmark gateway to the promenade, a distinguished elevated arrival deck greeting visitors at Punggol Point has the sombre overtones in the stark chromaticity and sharp silhouette of the arrival deck are a silent tribute to the World War II Sook Ching massacre memorial site at Punggol Beach, on which the arrival deck overlooks, a part of history that has been largely forgotten if not for this subtle reminder.Weaving Poetry into LandscapeLooking to weave poetry into the landscape, the design team has sought to evoke emotional responses to the promenade through design, re-building the lost connection between man and nature. The sensation of hovering lightly over the water on look-out decks cantilevered over the reservoir, amber rays of the setting sun aglow on the reflective ceiling of the rest shelter, the intriguing juxtaposition of a giant tranquil water lily pond next to lapping sea waves – these narratives are pieced together to form different melodies in each individual, various tunes sharing the same base chord regardless of race or ethnicity.