'Solar orchid' pods will serve as floating restaurants, retail shops in Singapore's harbor [slideshow]
The pods will include cooking stalls, complete with table settings, built-in exhaust, and water, gas, electrical, and waste collection services.
In an attempt to reunite the nation of Singapore with its harbor, SPARK Architects has designed the "solar orchid"—self-contained, solar-powered pods that mimic traditional hawkers.
Hawkers, or floating stalls where vendors sell various products, were once commonplace in Singapore, but have faded away after decades of urban development, designboom reports.
"The concept proposes a way to reinvigorate the Singaporean hawker centre experience, and to reinstate the everyday relationship with the waterscape that once characterised Singaporean life," SPARK said in a press release. "The proposal recalls the mobility of Singapore’s original hawkers."
The pods will include cooking stalls, complete with table settings, built-in exhaust, and water, gas, electrical, waste collection, and water recycling services. Protective canopies made of inflated ETFE pillows are intended to incorporate photovoltaic cells. In addition, the pods will have a reconfigurable structure that is viable in multiple different locations.
"We have a duty as designers to develop and propose ideas and visions that can enhance our cities, as well as contribute to making them more liveable places," said Stephen Pimbley, a founding director of SPARK. "History offers many extraordinary examples of visionary projects that remain on paper, serving as vehicles for debate about the future of our cities."
All renderings courtesy SPARK.