Singapore Archifest pavilion ‘reclaims connectivity’ in an age of distance

2020 Archifest in Singapore prepares for a September launch and the virtual opening of its main pavilion space, entitled Reclaiming Connectivity and jointly created by ADDP Architects and OWIU Design 

Reclaiming Connectivity Archifest Pavilion
(Image credit: press)

Singapore studio ADDP Architects and Los Angeles based OWIU Design have revealed their joint winning competition entry for a pavilion, which will be the centrepiece of this year's Archifest event in Singapore this September. The two firms scooped the first prize to create a temporary flagship structure for the show, which is organised annually by the Singapore Institute of Architects; only this year, unsurprisingly, due to current events surrounding the pandemic, the Southeast Asian country's celebration of architecture and the built environment will take place in the digital realm. 

Responding to this, the winning team's concept drew on the ongoing global challenges and moulded its design to work with the format of virtual tours, ensuring the festival can still be accessible and present as ‘a platform to discuss, debate and dream about the possibilities surrounding architecture and the city of Singapore,' explain the organisers. 

Reclaiming Connectivity Archifest Pavilion design

(Image credit: press)

‘The pavilion will test new architectural ideas for post-Covid-19 design from its total prefab construction to its spatial layout, sustainable wooden material composition, functional tectonic glass design and light manipulation,' say the designers. 

Entitled Reclaiming Connectivity, the structure features as its starting point OWIU Design Studio founding partner Amanda Gunawan’s photographic series on abstraction in the natural landscape. Blending these photographic prints on walls made of Light Emitting Surfaces glass, with spatial reflections on humanity’s innate need for connection, the design explores this yearning for togetherness that becomes even more prevalent in the current framework of international guidelines for social distancing. The designers propose creating private areas within public space as an alternative to isolation, illustrating their concept through timber, prefabricated arrangements within an open plan pavilion that offers glimpses of natural scenes. 

The pavilion, which is designed to be physically built within 48 hours using prefabrication methods and 99 per cent sustainable FSC-certified timber, is still planned to appear in its physical form next year in the Singapore City gallery; but for now, it will be available to visit virtually from 25 September 2020 through the Archifest website. 

Reclaiming Connectivity Archifest Pavilion concept

(Image credit: press)

Reclaiming Connectivity Archifest Pavilion singapore

(Image credit: press)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).