Sky-high gardens and a "terraced" landscape that develops ponds and streams after rain are among the design features of 11 projects for which architectural consultants were recognised in this year's Housing Board (HDB) Design Awards.

Twelve HDB Construction Awards for quality building were also given to construction firms.

One of the winning projects for design was SkyVille@ Dawson by WOHA Architects. The community-centric design includes the concept of "sky villages", with each cluster of 80 homes sharing one sky garden where residents can mingle.

Retiree He Kow Lim, 65, enjoys the peaceful high-rise spots. Her granddaughter Jayee Yeo, nine, plays at the high-rise hopscotch mats more often than the ground-floor playground, she said.

Surbana Jurong Consultants bagged four design awards, including one for Waterway Ridges by the Punggol Waterway.

Built on a slope, the HDB project has blocks of different heights and orientation for a terraced effect that maximises views of the waterway.

Special landscape features look like regular gardens or paths, but turn into ponds and streams when it rains, while helping to drain, filter and channel rainwater down to Punggol Waterway.

Such community-centric and environmentally sustainable features are part of HDB's vision for public housing, said Mr Jeremiah Lim, HDB's deputy director of design policy. "We hope to do these in more projects all over the country."

Besides new public housing projects, the HDB Design Awards also recognise the upgrading of estates.

Among this year's winners are two neighbourhood centres in East Coast which were upgraded under the Remaking Our Heartland scheme, and an upgrading project in Simei Street 1 under the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme.

The HDB construction award winners include seven housing projects which received Conquas scores of over 90, above the national average of 88.5.

The Conquas or Construction Quality Assessment System score, by the Building and Construction Authority, reflects building aspects such as workmanship and structural works.

The other five winners for construction quality are three upgrading projects, the building of Tanah Merah Staging Ground and a mechanised parking system.

The awards will be presented at the annual award ceremony on Thursday.


Written by Janice Heng for The Straits Times