Text by Kelly Koh
A pilot project for housing civil servants, the apartments at Neptune Court sought to forge a sense of community among its residents while maintaining hierarchical decorum.
Neptune Court was designed as part of a housing scheme specifically for public officers. Echoing multiple global experiments on the collective housing of workers from a single field, that system has since been eschewed for the creation of more heterogeneous communities.
To exploit the communal bond created by shared employment, the estate is equipped with community facilities, located in the centre of the development around a large circular play enclosure. The estate, together with the surrounding residential developments, is also supported from the outside by a shopping centre, a junior college, and two schools.
Its location on the stretch of reclaimed land ensured the best views for the new development, and its design reflects the architects’ conscious attempts to maximize this benefit. The point block typology was chosen to minimize obstruction of views across the site, while oriented to maximize views of the seafront from the units.
The units were designed with an open plan, both for reasons of the view and for flexibility to allow individual variation of personal space, a necessary implementation to counteract the homogeneity of the community. The draw of the seafront is further enhanced by the image of the balcony as a contiguous terrace to the living area, creating a seamless threshold between inside and out.
It is interesting to note the hierarchy within the homogeneity, as the two size options are located in their own discrete buildings. The larger and more expensive executive apartments are placed in five point blocks with prime views at the front of the site, and distinguished by the material application of fairface bricks, and the formal embellishment of circular balconies.