Open Building Bras Basah Complex

‘Future Urban Habitation’ Symposium 2019 / Book publication (upcoming)


SRG Research Grant

Research Team Urban Housing Lab

Principal Investigator: Oliver Heckmann

Research Assistants: Aarthi Janakiraman, M.Arch, Pratt Institute School of Architecture / Chong Zhuo Wen, M.Arch ASD/SUTD

Student team: Audrey Chin Mian Yee, Koh Xian Zhe, Chloe Tan, Tan Yen Lin and Zhang Ke Er

Open Building Bras Bash Complex – Studies into the potential adaptability of generic housing models 

Designs from a studio assignment on the adaptive reuse of the housing blocks of Bras Basah Complex indicate that generic public housing types allow for more adaptability to changing and diversifying forms of co-habitation than originally conceived for. The hypothesis is that a given primary structure – following Habaraken’s Open Building paradigm understood being a ‘support system’  – does in combination with particular strategic prerequisites allow the adaption to different concepts of living together as ‘infills’. Dwelling concepts for at least six tenants were to be developed. Three existing units were to be combined horizontally and vertically, keeping the three entrances, load-bearing structure and service ducts intact. 

Presented at: ENHR Belfast, June 2016 European Network of Housing Research 

Oliver Heckmann, ‘Operative Design Strategies for High-Density Living in Asian Cities’ 

(The case study diagrams on Bras Basah Complex have been curated by Dicle Uzunyayla and the SUTD students Zhang Ke Er, Chloe Tan, Koh Xian Zhe, Tan Yen Lin and Audrey Chin Mian Yee)

Combination of 3 units / Distribution in residential blocks

Multi-Generational Family



Nuclear Family