The world’s best building of the year belongs to Singapore retirement village Kampung Admiralty

Kampung Admiralty, a retirement village that combines housing for the elderly with a shopping-mall like experience comes out tops at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam (Photo: HDB)

We did it, Singapore: tops in yet another list.

As if being the best at everything is not enough for us overachieving folk, Singapore’s Kampung Admiralty is now a world-class marvel after nabbing the Building of the Year 2018 award at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam on Friday.

The 11-story mixed-use retirement village beat 535 projects from 57 countries to clinch the top prize at the festival, which is known as one of the most prestigious architectural awards in the world.

Kampung Admiralty, located a stone’s throw away from Admiralty MRT Station, is the first co-located project by Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) to combine housing for the elderly with childcare center, senior centers, a hawker centre and a medical centre.

Bet you wish your hawker centre looked this good. (Photo: HDB)
Bet you wish your hawker centre looked this good. (Photo: HDB)

The project, designed by WOHA Architects, features more than 100 studio apartments for the elderly and a 900-seat hawker centre and was designed to “foster greater community bonding and reignite the kampung (village) spirit of yesteryear,” according to HDB when it launched the flats for sale in 2014.

Many will recall Singapore’s story of how it turned from a country of villages to a country of skyscrapers in less than 50 years. The only surviving village in Singapore’s mainland is Kampong Lorong Buangkok, which has also faced rumors of possible redevelopment.

So much greenery. (Photo: HDB)
So much greenery. (Photo: HDB)

So Kampung Admiralty is not exactly the village that comes with zinc roofs and wooden walls but hey, it does have its very own community garden managed by a committee that decides what type of plants to grow.

If that is not the kampung lifestyle for you, we do not really know as well.

WOHA Architects, the team behind the building, is also responsible for designing other striking and slightly trippy buildings in Singapore such as Oasia Hotel Downtown, PARKROYAL on Pickering and School of the Arts.

Singapore has actually won this award in the past; in 2015, it won Building of the Year for the ridiculously trippy Matrix-like condominium The Interlace and also in 2012, for the cooled conservatories at touristy park Gardens By The Bay.

So basically, it looks like Singapore is right on track to be that overachieving kid in class. Kudos to all the elderly folk living there who can now proudly proclaim that they live in a rockstar building.

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