Singapore Prize and WOHA’s Kampung Admiralty Complex
Singapore is home to a range of literary awards that recognise writers and works of merit. The country’s array of prizes recognises a wide range of literary genres, including fiction and non-fiction, and the top winners are often able to receive USD 10,000 or more in prize money. Besides the Singapore Literature Prize, there are also the Singapore Book Council’s Gold Point Awards and the biennial Singapore National Day Literary Award.
The annual Singapore Literary Prize, which is one of the country’s most prestigious literary awards, was launched in 1992 to celebrate a diverse Singaporean literature scene. The prize is awarded for outstanding published works in any of the four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. It is a biennial award that is contested by authors of any age and field of writing from the country.
This year, the prize has received a total of more than 300 submissions from both Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans. The winners will be announced in the early part of next year. The prize is backed by the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. The NAC is also a major sponsor of the Singapore Book Fair, which is held every year to celebrate the country’s vibrant and diverse literary scene.
The first prize winner in the 30th edition of this prestigious programme was Clara Chow, who won the English fiction, English creative nonfiction and Chinese poetry categories. She is the first writer in the history of the program to be shortlisted in three categories and two languages. The other winners were Ali bin Salim, who won the consumer choice award; Chang Yong-hwa, winner of the essay category; and Lim Yue-wei, the winner in the Chinese Poetry category.
WOHA’s 104-apartment complex, dubbed Kampung Admiralty, won this year’s Singapore Architecture prize. The judges praised the design for its use of space to support intergenerational bonding, active aging and social interaction. The scheme consists of two 11-story-high blocks, which feature leisure facilities and an open-air hawker center.
Designed by the architectural firm WOHA, this building is a high-rise apartment block that houses seniors. The complex features communal spaces, including a so-called “hawker centre” where locals gather to eat cheap, home-cooked food, as well as a park and gardens. The architects were inspired by the ubiquity of such community spaces in Singapore and the idea that they could be used as “framing devices” to support elderly residents and their families. The complex has a community of 104 residents, and the project was developed in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The building is set to open in 2022. The ceremony will be attended by the Prince of Wales and will be accompanied by a week-long series of events called Earthshot Week, where global leaders and businesses will convene to explore opportunities to accelerate the solutions and innovations that address climate change.