As an office, we abstain from stylistic formulas and instead, approach every project by means of open-ended inquiry.  




279 Balestier Road #02-20
Singapore 329727


interior design
good narrative pte. ltd.

279 balestier Road #02-20
singapore 329727


Char Yong Association Building


CLIENT Char Yong Association
LOCATION Singapore


The site for the new Char Yong Association Building located at Lorong 18 Geylang poses a few challenges.  The site is immediately surrounded by Singapore’s infamous red-light district and budget hotels that are frequented by the unfavourable.  The site has also a West to East facing that needs to be addressed.

Our proposal seeks to address these constraints to create a modern and culturally rich hub for CYA, CYF and the local community.


The Hakka came from a long line of Nomadic people, often travelling from place to place, escaping wars and persecution.  Their ancestors slowly developed their tightly knit and resilient communities whichwere embodied by their distinct ancient Tulous (Earth Dwelling) that served as protection.  Char Yong and its wider Dabu County area was where some Hakka came to settle, with terraced rice paddy fields, valleys and rivers that come through the area.  We seek to bring back these ideologies of landscape and architecture back into a modern context of Singapore.


Drawing from the vision of the Char Yong Association and Foundation, our scheme seeks to capitalise on the values of instilling traditional culture in the offspring of the Hakka community in Singapore.  Through architecture, we seek to create a prominent and welcoming beacon in and around Geylang.

Conceptually, we would lift up our protective Tulou, in order to welcome the community surrounding the new Association Building.


The form follows the ideologies of the earth dwelling, in its metaphysical and concept of community.  The mash between Tulou and landscape is encapsulated in our design.

Terracing elements of the Landscapes of Char Yong, is introduced through the tiered garden spaces that take inspiration from the elements used in the construction of Tulou such as bamboo that was used to fortify its walls, to the Half-moon ponds that fronts various notable Tulous in and around Dabu County.


As programs are lifted off the 1st storey, a landscaped ramp is created.  An Architectural fin wall also starts from the 3rd Storey onwards, creating an interesting walkway under the building to bring the user to the 2nd floor event space.  Community programs with a wider audience can be housed here.  The terrace hargen space is also an important part of the journey along the ramp whether the user is coming up, or moving out of the building, the sequence of spaces created here provided for an interesting walk.