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Vanda “Miss Joaquim” Gets Her Sea Legs: SPARK Proposes the Solar Orchid

If there’s one thing the diverse peoples of Singapore can agree upon, it’s the food. More specifically, how good it is, and how difficult it is to stop indulging. For a foodie like me, Allison, working at Ann Siang Hill is torture – delicious, tantalizing torture. Countless renowned restaurants, bars, cafes and eateries dot the area around our office, and three of Singapore’s most famous hawker centres are just stone throws away.

Truly, hawker centres are what make Singapore’s already vibrant food culture even more special. After all, where else in the world can you find restaurant-quality fare at wallet-friendly prices all available in the same location? And where else can you wake up at 1am with the yearning for chicken rice and a milo-dinosaur, and know that your craving will definitely be satiated?

Now SPARK, our brilliant architecture client, is promising to take the humble hawker centre to the next level. At a recent media luncheon held to gauge media reaction, SPARK unveiled their groundbreaking idea for the Solar Orchid, a sustainable floating hawker centre. If all goes as planned, it won’t be long before we can enjoy our Hokkien Mee and Chili Crab against a backdrop of calm waters and gentle breezes.

Next generation hawker centre, aw yeah.

Solar-powered, self-contained and lightweight, each self-sustaining Solar Orchid cluster can accommodate around 7 hawkers stores and 150 seats, and can easily be moved from one location to another. To adapt to the conditions of the different locations, the individual pods – which come with built-in exhaust, water, gas, electrical, waste collection and water recycling services, as well as table settings – can be clustered in different formations. So basically, if you can’t go to the Solar Orchid, it will come to you!

Solar Orchid at Gardens by the Bay

And the sentiment behind this conceptualization is really beautiful – the Solar Orchid aims to reestablish the once intimate relationship we Singaporeans had with our water; historically, water bodies in Singapore were centres of culture, commerce and recreation. Just like SPARK, then, to propose something futuristic but pays homage to Singapore’s heritage.

So far, the media coverage of the Solar Orchid has just been fantastic, with The Straits Times, The Business Times and I-S Magazine taking the lead. With a little luck, the response of the relevant authorities and organizations will be just as positive.

I, for one, can’t wait for the Solar Orchid design to be actualized. Fingers crossed!