Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences received the Universal Design Mark Gold Plus (Design) Award at the BCA Awards 2013 for designing with every user in mind
Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences received the Universal Design Mark Gold Plus (Design) Award at the BCA Awards 2013 for designing with every user in mind

When Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences first launched in 2011, the development created a buzz for several reasons. It is the first fully integrated retail-residential-transport development in the East and offers unparalleled convenience and connectivity with its central location, allowing seamless access from the Bedok MRT and bus interchanges to the city and other parts of the island.

But here’s another reason why the integrated development is such a draw. It is designed with Universal Design (UD) features. In short, the development has been designed to cater to the needs of users of different ages, physical abilities and lifestyle patterns; as well as the way homeowners, shoppers and tenants interact with their environment.

“CapitaLand and CapitaMalls Asia have a sound understanding of the needs and lifestyles of our homeowners, tenants and shoppers, and how they will interact with the built environment, now and through the various stages of their lives. The desire to create inclusive and accessible spaces for everyone in the community has to be part of the design intent. UD is firmly embedded in our design philosophy because we create buildings that last through several generations,” explained Mr Philip Yim, General Manager of Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences.

The CapitaLand Group has been accorded the largest number of Universal Design Mark awards at the annual Building and Construction Authority Singapore Awards 2013 (BCA Awards). The Bedok development was among eight of the Group’s properties conferred the Universal Design Mark.

In broad keystrokes, connectivity, accessibility and user-friendliness define a well-designed building, and residents and shoppers at the highly anticipated development can look forward to many of these features.

Connectivity and Accessibility for All

Whether you are a resident, a shopper or a tenant, Bedok Mall and and Bedok Residences are meticulously planned with connectivity and accessibility in mind for all.

From the onset of the design, the project team worked closely with the Housing & Development Board to integrate the development with the rest of the neighbourhood. This includes connectivity to the adjacent hawker centre – which is being turned into a town plaza – with three different ramped pathways that become part of the terracing landscape feature.

In addition, Bedok Residences homeowners can enjoy direct access to Bedok Mall via the 1st storey street level, giving them the convenience of a wide variety of retail shops and exciting F&B; outlets at their doorstep. A new extensive photovoltaic glass canopy is provided along the covered walkway to offer all-weather sheltered connectivity to Bedok Mall, the MRT station, bus interchange and taxi stand. Shoppers can also look forward to a new underpass connection leading from the existing MRT underpass into the mall. Here is where users may take the lifts up to the 2nd floor to get to the bus interchange directly.

Just as important is the thorough consideration made to efficiently accommodate activities within Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences, enhancing the flow of people moving in and out of the development.

“From the beginning, one of the priorities was to understand how the development can be designed to enhance traffic conditions in Bedok Central, which sees heavy human and vehicular traffic. Together with LTA, an extensive Traffic Impact Assessment study was carried out to determine the most suitable access points for the shoppers, residents, vehicles as well as the buses entering and departing the bus interchange. For instance, vehicles accessing the mall’s main entry and exit point will use a different road from those accessing the residents’ car park and bus interchange,” added Mr Yim.

A pedestrian flow study was also carried out in the early stages to understand the patterns of pedestrian movement through the existing Bedok Central to the various commuter facilities. The results of this study have significant impact on how the various points of access to the development are designed without creating undue confusion for the Bedok residents.

Pneumatic refuse collection at Bedok Residences, for instance, is provided to ease the daily collection and allows refuse to be collected at one point at the service road from Bedok North Drive without having to access each of the individual blocks.

User-friendly Designs and Thoughtful Add-ons

Nothing beats finding something you need when you need it. At Bedok Residences, families can enjoy a myriad of conveniences outside of their apartments. For one, the family restroom at the Clubhouse is equipped with a child toilet and diaper-changing station. Other features such as ample seating areas, step-less approaches to communal facilities and clear signages all contribute to the practical and family-friendly design and layouts at Bedok Residences.

Additional effort was also spent on providing children and elder-friendly facilities with a focus on safety. Equipment in the children’s playground will be clearly labelled with information on recommended age groups. “In addition, specialists will perform safety audits after installation of the equipment to ensure that the safety of young children is not compromised,” assured Mr Yim.

In an effort to promote interaction in multi-generational families, fitness stations for the elderly can be found alongside the children’s playground. Ample seating with grab bars will also be provided in the close vicinity for resting purposes.

These family-friendly features extend to Bedok Mall as well. Child protection seat for selected WC cubicles in every toilet cluster (both male and female), diaper-changing stations, as well as a nursing room that provides convenient amenities such as sink and hot water, will give shoppers with young children peace of mind when bringing junior out.

The needs of the elderly are also taken into account. Rows of LED lights found on the sides of escalators serve as visual warning against standing too close to the sides. Shoppers will also find that Bedok Mall is more well-lit for greater visibility. The illumination standard is above the minimum specified in the Singapore Standards. This higher illumination is achieved by choosing energy-saving light fittings which meet the Green Mark energy savings requirement.

And when the elderly get tired after shopping, they will have no trouble finding ample seating at key locations such as atrium edges and at passenger drop-off areas. For further convenience, prams and wheelchairs can even be loaned at Bedok Mall. And all carpark spaces are a minimum of 2.5m x 5.0m (larger than LTA's minimum requirement) to allow for easier parking for larger vehicle types.

With extensive connectivity, accessibility and user-friendly features, residents, shoppers and tenants of this popular integrated development in Bedok can rest assured that the needs of all users have been carefully considered, meticulously factored in and gracefully designed to bring function and form into a fine art.