OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore

AIR Circular Campus and Cooking Club opens in singapore

 

The vibrant AIR Circular Campus and Cooking Club, designed by OMA / David Gianotten and Shinji Takagi, officially opens on Dempsey Hill in Singapore. The project transforms an existing modernist building and its expansive green space into a hub for novel dining experiences, inviting broader thinking and discussions about food and the environment. Now a frequented art and lifestyle quarter, the building was once a nutmeg plantation in the mid-19th century and a barrack complex between the 1860s and 1990s. Its site encompasses over 3,700 sqm of green space and the former CSC Dempsey Clubhouse – built in the 1970s for civil servants in Singapore.

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
all images © Kris Provoost, courtesy OMA

 

 

reviving the hub with a 100-meter, organic walkway by OMA

 

OMA’s design builds on the inherent qualities of these two elements. A key architectural intervention is the 100-meter walkway connecting the AIR Circular Campus and Cooking Club with a main car park of Dempsey Hill and replacing the originally narrow and hidden route that made the clubhouse inaccessible. Organic in form, this footpath loosely defines the expansive green space in the garden and the lawn. From this path, the visitors can walk directly into AIR. The visitors can also detour into the meandering paths of the garden where ingredients are grown or stroll into the lawn where picnics and various events take place. Along the walkway are patios that become sitting-out areas complementing the lawn.

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
vibrant AIR Circular Campus and Cooking Club by OMA / David Gianotten and Shinji Takagi

 

 

a novel dining experience inviting the outdoors in

 

On the first floor, a modernist double-floor building, OMA extends the walkway into the interior to define the circulation space while facing the main dining space toward the lawn. Through an operable front facade, the originally enclosed first floor becomes a semi-outdoor dining space with extended terraces connected to the lawn for meals in a casual atmosphere. At the rear is the open kitchen, where the processes of making dishes are transparent to everyone. On the second level, glass replaces the original facade to create an indoor area overlooking the lawn. The visitors find here a more intimate dining area and the research space for experimentations on ingredients – sometimes unsuspected. The cooking school at the rear of this level allows all the visitors to share cooking skills and knowledge of the ingredients from the garden. Another intervention is the cylinder that consolidates the front and back programs, including the staircases for guests and staff, a bar, a kitchen, and a machine room. Positioned at the rear, the newly installed cylinder evokes the meshing of old and new.

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
reviving a modernist double-floor building

 

 

reuse and recycle at OMA’s Air circular campus

 

The fixtures and furniture were designed by Andreu Carulla using recycled timber and plastic bottles (HDPE) sourced from a former art installation, as well as Styrofoam – commonly used in disposable food containers. ‘These elements allude to the ethos of AIR to discover the potential and beauty in what is often perceived as waste. With farming, picnic, wandering, cooking, learning, and dining simultaneously taking place at different locations, AIR is a campus where the conventional dining experience is challenged: rather than passive diners being served, the guests are active explorers of opportunities to eat well and have fun. A new and informal fine-dining culture is in the making in the creative platform,’ conclude OMA’s David Gianotten and Shinji Takagi. 

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
fixtures and furnitures comprise recycled timber and plastic bottle

 

 

Spanning 700 square meters, the newly opened AIR Circular Campus and Cooking Club in Singapore is developed by Chefs Matthew Orlando and Will Goldfarb, and Ronald Akili. Ronald and OMA have worked together since 2013, delivering projects including the Potato Head Studios in Bali (2020), and the N*thing is Possible exhibition at the National Design Centre in Singapore (2022).

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
chairs designed by Andreu Carulla

air-circular-campus-designboom-full-2

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
OMA’s Air Circular Campus and Cooking Club opens to the lawn

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
a semi-outdoor dining space with extended terraces

air-circular-campus-designboom-full-5

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
evening view

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
glass replaces the original facade to create an indoor area overlooking the lawn

OMA transforms modernist complex into AIR circular campus and cooking club in singapore
introducing a 100-meter walkway

air-circular-campus-designboom-full

 

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project info:

 

name:  AIR – Circular Campus and Cooking Club | @air_cccc

location: Singapore 

architecture studio: OMA (here) | @oma.eu

partner in charge: David Gianotten

associate in charge: Shinji Takagi

local architect: Zarch Collaboratives

client: Potato Head
team: Marina Bonet, Helena Daher Gomes, Raffaele Guercia, Suet Ying Yuen

model making: Arthur Wong, Matteo Fontana, Marc Heumer, Alisa Kutsenko
product designer: Andreu Carulla Studio

lighting designer: Switch

total area: 700 sqm

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