SINGAPORE – A home built on “stilts”, a flying saucer-like childcare centre and a conservation building that sits on a wedge-shaped site are some projects recognised at the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Architectural Design Awards this year.

The awards, the highest recognition of architectural design in Singapore, were given out at an annual dinner held at the Resorts World Sentosa on Friday (July 19).

There were six design awards and 15 honourable mentions in six categories, along with the coveted Building Of The Year at the 18th edition of the awards.

The biggest winner of the night was ipli Architects.

The local architecture firm won Building of the Year and a design award for a residential project House Above 44 Kasai Road.

It was picked by a five-member jury including Mr Theodore Chan, former president of the Singapore Institute of Architects and Mr Sonny Chan, director of architecture firm CSYA and the 2011 winner of Designer of the Year at the President’s Design Award.

The house, located off Yio Chu Kang Road, sits on high pillars, similar to a kampung house on stilts, creating a natural entrance into the home with unblocked views. The jury said the “fine and unpretentious” building was well-ventilated and well-crafted for living in Singapore’s climate.

The previous edition in 2017 awarded two projects the top accolade: Amanemu, a luxury resort and onsen spa in Japan, and Oasia Hotel Downtown, a mixed-use development comprising a hotel and office spaces in Tanjong Pagar.

The awards were not held last year.

A PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots pre-school in Punggol won the design award in Institutional Projects – Educational and Community Buildings.

Designed by LAUD Architects, the childcare centre at 50 Edgefield Plains is shaped like a flying saucer with classrooms stacked over two floors and a central play area. A gentle circular ramp connects the play and study area.

The jury notes that children were seen lying casually on the lawn during site visits, a testament to the good ventilation system as a result from the stack effect.

It is not just new buildings that got recognised.

The conserved 1950s Khong Guan Building, which sits on a tight wedge-shaped site at the apex of MacTaggart Road and Burn Road in Tai Seng, also got a nod and was given the design award in the Special – Others category.

META Architecture collaborated with Lua Architects Associates to add an eight-storey extension to the existing building but have carefully retained and restored original elements.

Another project that got the nod was Kampung Admiralty, a “retirement village” in Woodlands by Woha Architects, which won the design award in Commercial – Mixed Developments.

Honourable mentions include Marina One by Architects 61 and Ingenhoven architects, and Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Kiosk and Boardwalk by Genome Architects.