1:20.000, Acrylic glass and plywood
Land was never seen as a limited resource in Singapore, but as a vast potential to be released. Land reclamation has added 25% to Singapore’s land territory during the last century and further extensions into the sea are still being planned and built. Now, thecelebrated Singapore model represents a paradigm of urban development inextricably tied to the practice of continuous transformation and reclamation of land. The sequence of sections through the island at two points in time,1924 and 2012, visualises the scale, the volume and the territorial logic of land construction.

1924 and 2012
1:50.000, Teak wood and gypsum
Models 1:50000, elevation factor x6
CNC milled teak wood and gypsum, 2x80x120cm

The three-dimensional reconstruction of Singapore’s topography based on records from 1924 and 2012 describes the breath-taking transformation of the island-state’s physical form over the last century. As the coastline expanded, hills disappeared and eventually sand started to be imported from abroad, Singapore became larger but flatter and more abstract. The fabrication of land should not be seen as merely a consequence of Singapore’s development process. Rather, Singapore’s model of progress relies on territorial transformation as its fundamental precondition.

TEAM: Model building: Hans Hortig, Martin Knüsel, Bas Princen, Tobias Wullschleger, Team of NUS students; Map reconstruction and digital elevation models: Tao Wang, Team of NUS students; Scripting: Tobias Wullschleger; Map research and acquisition: Iris Belle, Martin Knüsel, Marcel Jäggi, Tao Wang