Orchard Road is a familiar and memorable place in the hearts of Singaporean.
Originally a plantation stretch, then a housing estate, Orchard Road is today a well known international shopping district. It is also a meeting place of hearts where friends and families accompany each other.
In a bid to enliven and maintain the vibrancy of Orchard Road, there is an ongoing engagement between the government, business enterprises and the public to envision the next phase of its evolution.
The purpose of rejuvenating Orchard Road is due to it facing stiff completion from other cities but also to better reflect changing retail trends, according to Lawrence Wong, the Minister of National Development.
Orchard Road – The Lifestyle Destination
The new plans are to transform Orchard Road into a “must visit” lifestyle destination. Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister of Trade and Industry opined that Orchard Road will be the place for incubating new shopping experiences, new products, new services, new ideas to the rest of the world. He hopes that Orchard Road will be a place for people to come and see or be seen with their new ideas and their new products.
Enhance The Uniqueness Of Each Sub-precincts To Strengthen Orchard Road As A Lifestyle Destination
Orchard Road is made up of Tanglin, Orchard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut precincts. Each sub-precincts have a unique identity. There are opportunities to introduce new retail concepts, attractions, events and lifestyle to heighten the uniqueness and offering of experience in each sub-precinct.
The following are 5 ideas to enliven Orchard Road as the lifestyle destination to visit:
1. Making use of the conserved Tudor Court to generously provide arts and cultural activities to heighten the sub-precincts identity with a more artisanal flavor. The covered canal can be transformed into a courtyard space for community engagement decorated with public art and spaces for outdoor dining.
2. Orchard is the retail heart of the precinct. The plan is the enhance the shopping experience via better pedestrian connectivity through the erection of elevated link-bridges for the public to conveniently cross the junction of Paterson and Orchard roads. The bridges also serve as good vantage points to view the picturesque Orchard Road. Also planned there are more pop-up retail, F&B and entertainment events along the streets.
3. Vacant land parcels around Orchard MRT Interchange can be utilized for mixed-use development and provide connections between Orchard Road and the bustling side streets.
4. With more demand for hosted retail and F&B events such as Flashbang, the car park at Grange Road can be used as a dedicated event space for dining and entertainment use. With this and the Design Orchard showcase opposite the street, a new lifestyle cluster is formed. A sculptural canopy can be used to link the attractions and create a signature node there. The newly opened Design Orchard is going to enhance the youth appeal of Somerset and improve the retail diversity and experience. A 9000 sqf retail space showcasing locally grown brands, offers brand incubation spaces and comes with a rooftop amphitheater.
5. The authorities and stakeholders can cooperate to enhance the connectivities between buildings and free up some space to introduce more lifestyle usage of these areas.
Bringing Back The Orchard At Orchard Road
Another prong of the rejuvenation plan is in “bringing back the orchard” to distinguish Orchard Road from other international shopping streets. The plan involved cultivating Orchard Road as a green urban corridor with a lush showcase of trees, shrubs and themed vegetation. The greening of Orchard Road is better achieved when connected to expansive green spaces such as Singapore Botanic Gardens, Fort Canning Park and Istana Park.
Not only does the place become a better place to mingle but it also evokes and extol on the memory of Orchard Road’s past heritage.
When completed, the Orchard rejuvenation plan has a significant influence on the uplift in value of neighboring properties, such as Juniper Hill.
Source: URA, Channel News Asia
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