Idea to convert creepy Old Changi Hospital into stargazing spot wins top prize

You might also find that you are subjected to another's gaze.

Belmont Lay | November 04, 2021, 05:10 AM

Would you like to go to Old Changi Hospital to look up and pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?

Old Changi Hospital makeover?

Even if you don't, apparently, some would, because a proposal to convert the creepy disused premises into a stargazing observatory and aviation viewing deck has been picked as the best idea, if the place were to ever get a makeover.

The proposal, "Ascending to the Sky", won first place in the open category in a competition aimed at repurposing the old hospital for possible uses and revamping the Changi Point area as a whole.

Ascending to the Sky by Bryan Lee Jia En, Foo Jing Xi, Hailey Su Lei Yadanar and Matthew Goh

If the plan does get the go-ahead, the disused property will be open for public access to experience stars, planes and nature, due to the area's low light pollution and high vantage point, according to the proposal.

Changi has also always been closely associated with aviation, the proposal added.

The team of four who came up with the idea comprises three architecture students in universities and one from Singapore Polytechnic, currently serving his national service.

Changi Point area makeover?

But Old Changi Hospital takes up just a fraction of the Changi area.

In the open category for a contest to design a concept plan for the greater Changi Point area, the first-place proposal mooted the idea of retaining large swathes of the rustic nature and existing infrastructure in place, but redeveloping the area to facilitate wider public access.

The proposal, "Changi Point: Nature & Nurturing", called for a forest trail with restored indigenous plants, as well as a coastal walk to showcase public art and provide seating for sunset viewing -- combining both the laid-back character of Changi with improved accessibility.

Changi Point: Nature & Nurturing by April Valle and Artlheene Rivera

The idea was submitted by April Valle and Artlheene Rivera.

About the competition

Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) organised the "Charmingly Changi" competition.

The competition put out a call for ideas in April 2021, and there were two parts.

First, to design a concept plan for the 42ha Changi Point area, and second, to gather ideas on how to repurpose the Old Changi Hospital while retaining its architectural features.

Changi Point, bounded by the Strait of Johor, Loyang Avenue, Old Pier Road and Telok Paku Road, is located at the eastern end of Singapore.

Members of the public were invited to take part, and their ideas should not rely on intensive development works.

Both challenges had the open category for the public, and tertiary category for students from universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions.

A total of 134 submissions were received.

The top team in the open category won S$6,000, while the top prize in the tertiary category was S$3,000.

Cash prizes in the thousands were also given out to the second- and third-placed teams in each category.

The proposals with suitable ideas and concepts may be implemented into future plans for the area.

Top photos via Google Maps & URA/ SLA