Liveable Cities -
Architecture Agendas in Singapore and Germany

28 March 2011

Over the past 15 years Singapore has developed into one of the most prosperous metropolises in southern Asia, and has in the process experienced radical transformation. Today, Singapore is setting standards in the areas of urban planning and design, infrastructure and architecture, as well as in the context of debates on creating liveable and sustainable cities. The objective of these efforts is “to make Singapore a great city to live, work and play in.”

In Europe, Berlin – with its motto “poor but sexy” – has evolved into a dynamic center for a wide range of creative industries, and is now attracting professionals from the artistic, cultural and economic sectors, from around the world. This diversity is also reflected in the context of urban development, in a broad range of often experimental approaches to contemporary urbanity.

Three architects from Singapore will discuss with three German architects: What has architecture to offer for the concept of a liveable city? Which are the most important conditions for practice that young architects are confronted with in Singapore and in Germany? How do they tackle current challenges? What are the specifics of urban development in an age of globalisation? What can they learn from each other?

The discussion will reflect relevant influences, including, traditions in architecture education and cultures of practice, and global and local factors of society, economy or politics. Together with the audience, the discussion will identify what architecture practice in both countries should hold in common as critical to the ongoing achievement of Liveable Cities.

Welcome and Introduction

from Singapore:                                            from Germany:
Angelene Chan, DP Architects Pte Ltd           Matthias Rick, raumlabor
Warren Liu Yaw Lin, Dlab                            Volker Halbach, blauraum architekten, Hamburg
Rene Tan, RT+Q Architects Pte Ltd                Christopher Burns, Abcarius + Burns Architecture Design, Berlin

Moderated Discussion
with moderator: Riklef Rambow, architecture theorist and psychologist, Berlin
and invited audience members:  
Gunnar Hartmann, urbanist and educator, Zurich
Christopher Dell, urbanist and musician, Berlin
Theresa Keilhacker, political architect, Berlin
Exhibition Opening
20 Under 45: The Next Generation, Singapore
A Selection of Works by Under-45 Singapore Registered Architects

For visual material, please click here.


Christopher Burns is co-founder of abcarius + burns, a Berlin-based architecture and design practice with a second office in Beirut, Lebanon, which undertakes urban planning, architecture, interior design and furniture design, throughout Germany as well as in Sweden, Turkey and Lebanon. abcarius + burns has received a number of architectural awards for its residential projects, while their full portfolio of commercial, office, museums, cultural institutions, and interior projects have been widely published.

Angelene Chan
is a partner at DP Architects. Founded in Singapore in 1967, DP Architects is now a worldwide practice with twelve offices spread across eight countries. The firm has established a significant presence in Singapore and the rest of Asia, as a premier architectural firm providing a range of services from architecture, urban planning, interior design and project management. The firm has a long history in a wide variety of projects with a particular expertise in vast undertakings large-scale projects such as Suntec City, as well as landmarks such as Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay.

Christopher Dell
(ANCB Executive Board) is a theorist and composer. At the moment he is visiting professor for urban design theory at HafenCity University, Hamburg, where he is head of the MetaLab, Studio for Applied Theory. His interest is concentrated on agency, praxis and organisation of urban life. His institute for improvisation technology (ifit) works in cross-disciplinary constellations on the exploration and conceptualization of relational action.

Volker Halbach
is co-founder and partner at blauraum, a Hamburg-based architecture practice for contemporary architecture and urban design. Since its foundation in 2002, this award-winning practice has stood for the intensive analysis of the transformation of urban space and its architecture, offering solutions and concepts that produce multifunctional and memorable sceneries with a high identity value. blauraum 's projects span from commercial and residential buildings, to interior architecture, to urban development, with a further speciality in the sustainable redevelopment of exiting buildings.

Gunnar Hartmann,
born 1972, studied fine arts (BFA) at the University of Wisconsin and architecture (MArch) at Rice University in Houston. Since 2001 academic practice in the United States and Germany; since 2003 registered architect; from 2005-2009 program director of the master course at the Chur Institute of Architecture in Switzerland; since 2007 guest professor at the Dessau Institute of Architecture Graduate School in Germany; since 2011 doctoral candidate of cultural studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin; since 2008 co-owner of New Dialogues.

Theresa Keilhacker
is partner in Office for Urban Design and Architecture, Berlin, together with urban designer Boris Kazanski. She is also the founding member of plattformnachwuchs architects, a platform which critically examines Berlin’s city-planning projects, urban politics, architecture, and building culture and offering space for individual or private initiatives of the emerging creative generation and planners with an inter-disciplinary focus. She is Chair of “Committee for Sustainable Planning and Building” at the Chamber of Architects Berlin.

Warren Liu Yaw Lin,
is partner at Dlab (2007), a research-based practice, formally (as Dlab3) a small experimental design practice that focuses on tackling the issues of social and economic transformation within high density urban living conditions, through residential design. Previously, he was design consultant to DLab3, Design Principle at Nikken Sekkei (2001-2003), founding partner at WOW architects and Design Director of the associated interior design firm Warner Wong Pte. Ltd (2003-2007).

Riklef Rambow is currently teaching Communication of Architecture at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Theory of Architecture at Brandenburg Technical University (BTU) Cottbus. In Cottbus he is also head of the master programme Interpretation and Communication of Architecture. He holds a diploma in psychology from the University of Bielefeld and a PhD in psychology from the University of Frankfurt/Main.  His research focuses on the perception, use, and communication of architecture and urban space.

Matthias Rick is co-founder of raumlabor, a Berlin-based network-collective of 8 architects, whose work focuses on issues of urban transformation and urban renewal. Tailoring a team of expert collaborators from a range of disciplines and field for each project, raumlabor stands for discourse-oriented, experimental, joyful, participatory working methods with a high degree of public engagement and strong design expression. raumlabor has received several prizes and awards. Matthias Rick has been Professor of Architecture at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (VSUP) Prague since 2009.

Rene Tan explores architecture as an inter-disciplinary craft that combines the elusive beauty of art and the rigours of building technology. Despite working across a variety of scales from small individual houses to larger-scale masterplanning projects, Rene stays rooted in his design approach – which is to begin from an intuitive response to site and programme. He has also been an invited speaker at various events, such as PAM’s DATUM 2009 and Jakarta Triennale 2010.

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