A Model of the compact City

‘1000 Singapores – A Model of the Compact City’ addressed the theme of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, which was People Meet in Architecture. 1000 Singapores can house the world’s population using only 0.5 per cent of the Earth’s land area. Focusing on Singapore’s urban planning, with an emphasis on the scalability of the new towns and its high-rise, high-density housing, the project positions the country as a model of the compact city. The city is planned for 6.5 million people; multiplied a 1000 times, one could in theory house the world’s population of 6.5 billion people in a space equivalent to 0.5 per cent of the world’s land area. A provocative idea is put forward through a carefully designed pavilion, book and website. The project won the President Design Award 2011. Monocle magazine noted the project as “...one of the Biennale’s highlights, expertly curated...”.


The exhibition’s simplicity and clarity reasserts the power of architecture and design to communicate important ideas about the world we live in. The exhibition is a thought model: to imagine and think through novel ideas of densities, inhabitation, community, architecture, planning, ecology and environment, and how living patterns impact the world we live in.


1000 Singapores put together a thousand architectural diagrams and images around a 35-metre long scaled model of a section through the length of Singapore from East to West. Metaphorically, 1000 Singapores exported a slice of this city to help visitors visualise how 6.5 million people can be housed in just 710 square kilometres. A highly crafted and exquisite book complemented the exhibition.


Award: President Design Award

Project: Commission

Team: Florian Schätz, Erik G. L’Heureux, Khoo Peng Beng, Belinda Huang

Client: DesignSingapore Council, Singapore Institute of Architects

Area: 505 sm

Typology: Exhibition

Location: Italy