Stories > An Inclusive Village

2020 • Issue 1

An Inclusive Village

A timber terrace laid over the courtyard is, in fact, an open-air amphitheatre (pictured above) integrated with ramps for wheelchair users. The terrace continues under and past the buildings as a garden trail connected to the adjacent housing precinct of Redhill. This is one of the highlights of Enabling Village – a purpose-built community space created in 2015 for people with diverse abilities. Designed by acclaimed architecture firm Woha, it was honoured with the President’s Design Award 2016, Singapore’s highest recognition across all design sectors, and cited as one of the most successful examples of urban place-making in the city-state which breaks down barriers and brings together communities.

Sited in a sprawling compound which was once home to the Bukit Merah Vocational Institute, it now houses SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling people with disabilities to connect with business partners and stakeholders.

The six buildings housing a kindergarten, training and employment firms, community services, and F&B and retail outlets are connected by ramps, landings and lifts to facilitate seamless movement within its biophilic surroundings. Beyond its design, the narrative of the Enabling Village is driven by how it actually functions children play around the open-air amphitheatre that also hosts community events, and visitors enjoy the cocoon-like ambience of seating booths created out of a set of repurposed sewage pipes.

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