LOOK Architects: Comprising a 1.6 kilometre elevated pedestrian walkway beginning from Telok Blangah Hill Park and the 80 metre long Alexandra Bridge across Alexandra Road, Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk has opened a portal to the treasury of natural heritage in Singapore. Designed by LOOK Architects Pte Ltd, Alexandra Link is a key element in bringing to life the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s vision of linking up the 9 kilometre rolling expanse of the Southern Ridges – consisting of Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill and Kent Ridge – to form an uninterrupted network of linkages for the public to enjoy convenient access to nature.
Straddling a threshold between urban bustle and the tranquillity of nature, the sweeping form of Alexandra Bridge alluringly beckons at the onlooker to cross the gateway into a sanctuary of calm repose. Rising about 15 metres above Alexandra Road, the curving deck of the bridge introduces a gradual passage of transition into the approach of the adjoining Alexandra Link. The arching steel rib armature of Alexandra Bridge asserts a structural dynamism in the day, but metamorphoses with nightfall into a dematerialised sculpture of light.
Visitors would embark on a titillating journey of exploration through sinuous topography as the elevated walkway deftly traverses the hilly terrain, and one would be delighted by breath-taking views of the city and waterfront that sporadically ruptures into the foreground. Visitors would be spoilt for choice by the varied range of experiences – raised walkways brushing the tops of tree canopies offer a bird’s eye view of the secondary forest, whilst ground-level earth trails allow one to have a candid encounter with wildlife thriving on the forest floor. The architectonics of the link mimics the unique biological makeup of the “mile-a-minute” plant, whose equilateral triangle-shaped leaves find an intriguing likeness in the tessellations of the prefabricated metal decking modules that constitute the construction of the walkways.
Location: Alexandra Road & Telok Blangah Hill Park, Singapore
Year of Completion: 2008
Master Planner & Developer: Urban Redevelopment Authority
Owner: National Parks Board
Architect: LOOK Architects Pte Ltd
Principal Designer: Mr Look Boon Gee
Civil & Structural Engineer: Ecas-EJ Consultants Pte Ltd, Buro Happold (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: HY M&E Consultancy Services Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: JIA Quantity Surveyors & Project Managers Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: CKT Thomas Pte Ltd
Steel Specialist: Yong Nam Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd
Lighting Specialist: Lighting Planners Associates Inc.
Text & photos: LOOK Architects