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Authors: LOO QUAN LE
Keywords: Migrant Worker Dormitories
Cheah Kok Ming
Design Thesis
Foreign Worker Housing
Migrant Worker Accommodation
Issue Date: 22-Jul-2021
Citation: LOO QUAN LE (2021-07-22). TRANSIENT DORMITORIES IN SINGAPORE WATERS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The appalling living conditions of migrant workers in Singapore came under the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government’s response was to build new purpose-built dormitories – 11 dormitories that could house up to 100 000 workers - in order to reduce the density in existing dormitories. While the de-densification and efforts to improve the living standards of workers are necessary, the thesis posits that building more dormitories is not enough to build the country’s resilience against future global crises. Beyond improving dormitory standards, the country should also take this opportunity to rethink its unhealthy reliance on migrant labour. - In this thesis, a floating dormitory typology that is integrated with fish production facilities is proposed. As the country expands its coastal fish farms in the surrounding waters as part of a longer-term goal to increase its local food production capacity, the dormitories are built on top of these coastal fish farms such that they neither consume additional space on land nor in the sea. The new typology allows for future conversions into 100% fish farms when the country eventually reduces its reliance on migrant labour and when there is a lesser demand for migrant worker accommodations in the future. It is a metaphor to suggest that the dormitories are transient just as the migrant workers. The scheme also explores possible symbiotic relationships between dormitory operations and aquaculture operations, and shows the advantages that floating dormitories have over conventional dormitories that are built on land.
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