Volunteer Training Centre
Swiss Knife-like Multifunctionality
The project is highly multifunctional, much like a swiss-knife. It can take on many forms and rearranged for many purposes. The greater aim of this void deck interior design project is to create such great flexibility so that residents can use the space freely to suit their business and social needs. It allows home-based entrepreneurs to face lower barriers of entry into doing businesses near to their homes. As an installation in a neighbourhood, the Centre is a social hub to promote a stronger sense of community amongst the residents by giving them a flexible space to conduct meaningful social activities and build neighbourly camaraderie. The need for a dedicated workspace, situated nearby yet separate from home, has become increasingly pronounced as people are spending more time at home.
Versatile FurnitureDespite a size restriction, the void deck can serve multiple uses of different nature simply with the smart use of furniture. With a simple, intuitive action, residents can quickly transform a piece of furniture to meet their programmatic needs. When closed, the cabinet is a whiteboard or even a projection screen. When expanded, the lightweight metal mesh frames form a multiple-aisle exhibition space for users to hang objects for an art display. During an art market, sellers can display their goods on it as well. Users can also use the colourful Tetris wall as a display wall. The cushioned cube-shaped seats can be removed for use during a seminar, and be slotted back neatly into the Tetris wall once the event is over to continue its function as a feature wall. When the seats are removed, the gridded shelves can be used for display during an event.
Designed to Evoke EmotionsBy default, the Centre is an empty canvas. However, once the transformations take place, the Centre can evolve into a space that is beyond just a place to hold activities. The space is equipped with smart lighting and colourful furniture that can be used for an exhibition or gallery for users to appreciate art. The space is small but powerful. It can transport people into a different world when the ambience and setting is adjusted to the right mood. One day the Centre could be adorned with dim, warm light to create a lounge, and on another occasion, it could even turn into a virtual reality game room or a dark room for estate movie nights. The adjustable lighting also allows the operator to hold exhibitions which are meant to evoke emotions amongst the target audience.
The Centre was designed with the residents’ needs in mind. Surveys were done to find out about how much residents know about each other, and what they feel are lacking between them and their neighbours. The Centre holds programmes that involve collaborative work for all age groups in the community, creating an environment for social interaction. This project revolutionizes the concept of multifunctionality in community design, by maximizing the utilization of the abundant void deck spaces scattered across Singapore's heartlands. The Centre creates a central space that encourages residents to gather and engage in a diverse range of activities, while still maintaining individual autonomy of their own activities. With the Centre being so open and physically engaging with the community by having activities that can spill out of the Centre, a sense of cohesion is re-emerging, enabling Singaporeans to forge stronger connections.