Goodlife Studio @ Bukit Purmei Takes Home SIA Architectural Design Award


At the SIA Architectural Design Awards 2024 organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), Goodlife Studio @ Bukit Purmei was presented the Merit Award in the Special Category for Social and Humanitarian Architecture.

The project is the second active ageing centre that DP Architects has designed for Montfort Care, a social welfare organisation supporting well-rounded ageing through meaningful pastimes that address the physical and mental wellness of Singapore’s elderly. Located in the Singapore heartlands of Bukit Purmei, the design scheme applies similar strategies of porosity, accessibility and universal design that made Goodlife Makan, the pioneering model, successful. These are expressed as full-height glass doors that blur the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces; bright solid hues paired with muted timber tones which transform the void deck into a warm, inviting and vibrant space; and colour zoning which simultaneously supports the elderly in their orientation of space and enlivens the interiors of the centre.

While its first iteration, Goodlife Makan, was an exploration of food as agency, Goodlife Studio seeks to reach out to and empower the elderly residents of Bukit Purmei through learning-focused activities. It comprises three studios including the main studio, Kayu Artisan. Designed with the intention to engage male seniors who are more at risk of social isolation than their female counterparts, it offers the familiarity of craftsmanship and carpentry-focused activities to the seniors.

Kayu means wood in Malay, and is also used colloquially to describe making a mistake. By normalising mistakes and imperfections as part of the journey, a light-hearted environment is created, encouraging seniors to freely express themselves and their creativity through crafts. Experienced senior artisans have the opportunity to become stewards of the community, sharing their knowledge and forging relationships with others. Another studio is the Active Studio, where daily exercise classes take place. The furniture in the space is collapsible, allowing the studio to cater to various events and celebrations of different scales.

Goodlife Studio @ Bukit Purmei aspires to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where the senior community feels empowered to take charge of their own physical and mental health. By engaging in activities, it fosters a sense of freedom and ownership over their work, promoting wellbeing and enriching their lives. Akin to a social living room, seniors can also bring along their family members to participate in activities, strengthening familial bonds. The centre illustrates how thoughtful design can empower active ageing and lifelong learning, allowing individuals to age gracefully and healthfully.

Three other DPA projects were among the finalists shortlisted. They are the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center, a smart urban mobility hub that integrates cutting-edge technology with sustainable design; Punggol Regional Library, an inclusive and accessible space for all ages made possible by its universal design; and The Greenhouse at Dulwich College (Singapore), the country’s first net-zero private institution that brings sustainability education to life.