SINGAPORE: The former Bukit Timah Fire Station will be transformed into an "environmentally sustainable" lifestyle hub featuring urban farming, wellness and nature-based activities for visitors.
When completed, the historical site will become a gateway for heritage and nature attractions in the area, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore Land Authority (SLA), National Parks Board (NParks) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in a joint news release.
Nearby landmarks include the former Ford Factory, Bukit Batok Memorial, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok Nature Park, as well as islandwide recreational routes - the 24km-long Rail Corridor and the 36km-long Coast-to-Coast Central Trail.
The site will also feature "generous community spaces" surrounded by "lush greenery and rich heritage".
"Visitors will have opportunities to connect with nature via workshops, nature-based programmes and allotment gardens in shared open spaces designed to capitalise on the surrounding greenery," the authorities added.
Restoration works for the site are expected to start around the end of 2021. It is "tentatively scheduled" to open to the public near the second quarter of 2022.
TENDER AWARDED TO GLOBAL COMPETITION WINNER
The tender for the state property will be awarded to Homestead Holland, whose tenancy is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2021.
It had won the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group's "Reinventing Cities" competition, which was organised in collaboration with URA, SLA, NParks and BCA.
The competition aims to implement carbon-neutral and sustainable urban features at underutilised sites in cities.
The former Bukit Timah Fire station was the first in Asia to be included in the event when it was launched in December 2019.
With the theme of "Good Food, Good Life", the winning proposal featured community event spaces, as well as allotment gardens to experiment with sustainable food production and food waste management.
"It will also bring together a vibrant mix of uses such as food and beverage offerings including farm-to-table experiences, health and wellness activities, and nature-related workshops," the authorities said.
Environmentally sustainable features such as enhanced waste management strategy and sustainable construction will be implemented.
There will also be low carbon mobility initiatives, such as the provision of shuttle buses and electric vehicle charging stations.
The development aims to attain the Green Mark Platinum Zero Energy certification under Green Mark 2021, said the authorities.
IN LINE WITH SINGAPORE GREEN PLAN 2030
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee called it a "recreational node" along the Rail Corridor to serve as a base for visitors to explore the surrounding area.
"We will be implementing sustainable solutions with creative adaptive reuse of the site, in line with our Singapore Green Plan 2030 ambitions to push for greener buildings and to build a more climate resilient nation," said Mr Lee.
For example, the former Station Master's residence on the site will be repurposed into a visitor centre to showcase Singapore's nature parks.
NParks will also explore plans to connect the former fire station to the Rail Corridor trail and other green spaces.
"Visitors can look forward to the former Bukit Timah Fire Station being transformed into a thriving community node." Mr Lee added.