#FREEDOMCHAINS at ArchiFest 2022


The annual ArchiFest 1 opened on 9th September 2022 evening at the URA Atrium with the theme “The Order of Love”. In this post-pandemic era, it invites architects and the built environment community to contemplate and visualise a more loving and hospitable future. It is centred around three core principles: Love of Our Planet, Love of People, and Love Across Generations.

DP has been commissioned to design and build one of the seven pavilions for the festival’s Global Village at the URA Atrium; each is a unique exploration and expression of seven elements of a loving environment: Connection, Justice, Unity, Freedom, Play, Common Good and Restoration. Titled #freedomchains, DP’s Freedom pavilion is jointly designed by DP Architects and its specialists, DP Design and DP Lighting.

On a conceptual level, the design of #freedomchains seeks to allude to the symbolisms, dualities, and rich layers of freedom based on our Love for the environment and the migrant workers’ community. Chains are deliberately used as the central theme where one part is an antonym restricting freedom and the other is an integral conduit allowing free movement like those in Bicycles. The pavilion aims to recast this humble everyday object into an extraordinary visual motif of freedom and exploration in our built environment.


One thousand bicycle chains drape and assemble in the heart of the URA atrium, forming the letters F, R, E, E on the ground. The pavilion builds toward a public realm where communal freedom is structured and ordered as a porous structure with various entry points. It opens up to interesting interstitial spaces created by each letter and is a symbolic figure-ground of the city. Rattling and echoing through the atrium, each chain levitates and plays on the interaction of each cylindrical link to produce an ephemeral moiré effect. It is an immersive field that advocates for a greener mode of transportation, inspires highly mobile urban citizens, and also share our Love for the migrant workers’ community.

DP is committed to contributing back to the community and circular design. As such, the bicycle chains used in #freedomchains will be donated to various migrant worker dormitories around the island for their daily commute. DP has also leveraged partnerships with three local bicycle repair shops to further value-add repairs and maintenance services post-festival. Whereas the scaffoldings will disappear and await their next deployment elsewhere.

The pavilion is open to the public at the URA Atrium from the 9th of September to the 30th September 2022.

Ar Seah Chee Huang (left), CEO of DP Architects and Mr Kiat How Tan (right), Senior Minister of State for National Development. Photo by Hoong Qi Hao.

Lin Derong

DP’s design team, alongside Connie Wu (CEO, 4th from Left), Alan Teo (Associate Director, 2nd from Left) and team from Sunray Woodcraft Construction. Photo by Hoong Qi Hao.

DP’s design team with Tansy Tan & Jessie Tan from COSA International (far-left), and Sam Wee (far-right) from Luxlight.

Ang Guo Zi


1. ArchiFest is commissioned by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and supported by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA). It is directed by Khoo Peng Beng and Belinda Huang of Pinnacle @ Duxton fame, and co-recipients of the 2020 President’s Design Award Designer of the Year. After being held virtually for the past two years due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ArchiFest 2022– Singapore’s celebrated architecture festival – has returned to a physical format. The opening night took place on 9th September at the URA Centre atrium and was graced by Mr Kiat How Tan Senior Minister of State for National Development.

You can visit the Freedom Pavilion at URA Centre at 45 Maxwell Road from now till 30th September.
Read more about the ArchiFest 2022 here.



Project Credits
Designed by DP Architects, DP Design, DP Lighting, sponsored and in partnership with Sunray Woodcraft Construction, COSA International, Luxlight. Post festival bicycle chains dissemination and repair by FBS Freddy Bicycle Services and Repairs, GoodTime Cycle, Ye’s Bike

DP Team: Seah Chee Huang, Claudia Nam, Ang Guozi, Kevin Sturrock, Lester Cruz, Lin Derong, Law Kai Xiang, Claire Thum