Henderson Community Club
Text by Eugene Tan
Bringing together a Community Club and a Police Centre for the first time, this new treatment of civic and community buildings is paralleled by a modern architecture which both connects and separates.
With the building volume sited on a small hilltop, the curious pedestrian is drawn by the bright primary colours. From a distance, one already notices how this works with the context, relating to the bright yellow and red hues of surrounding housing blocks. Immediately perceptible is a large mesh screen, giving a hint of the activity taking place in the CC and Police Centre. Viewing the attractive building as a final reward, they are greeted at street level by a small entrance with an inward sloping shelter gravitating them into the building. The small and narrow entrance evokes a sense of suppression, only to be released upon reaching the main floor as the spaces opens up to a shared carpark space.
The need for space maximisation resulted in the juxtaposition of Henderson Community Club and the Bukit Merah West Neighbourhood Police Centre, two functions which seemed fundamentally incompatible. The assimilation strategy was to create a common link corridor between both buildings, on which the mesh screen is attached; the common corridor acts as connector and separator at the same time. A socially varied pair, the architects did not attempt to meld the two in a contrived manner, but uses architectural treatment to physically separate the two, while combining them visually.