I12 Katong is a unique addition to the existing vibrant and walkable historical neighbourhood. Unlike the conventional inward-facing shopping mall, I12 Katong is porous to connect with its surroundings.
The mall is sited at the intersection of two primary roads – Joo Chiat Road and East Coast Road in the Joo Chiat neighbourhood, the historical centre of Katong. In keeping with the area’s multi-ethnic influences, known for its colourful Peranakan shophouses, I12 Katong introduces a series of outdoor dining terraces along the Joo Chiat Road façade as an intermediate space between exterior and interior, where the activities inside spill out onto the sidewalk and become part of the street life and vice versa. On the ground level, the façades along the two main roads are recessed to provide shade for residents shopping in the afternoons, echoing the famous ‘five-foot way’ of the surroundings.
The new entrance lobby is carved diagonally at the road junction, permitting the creation of a public square. The much improved public space is conceived as an outdoor relief space and plays a significant role in the reorganisation of the flow and perception of urban space. Deriving its scale from the existing three-storey shophouses, the building is stepped back as it rises. Visible are only the three-floor transparent curved curtain wall with strips of abstract imprints of Peranakan tiles when the visitor approaches from the road junction. This building is individually articulated towards each side, and the dimensions and scale are tailored to its adjacent buildings. The elevation presents a new identity expressed in glass curtain wall along East Coast Road, while the façade along Joo Chiat Road reflects the characteristic rhythm of existing shophouses, which is modulated into human-scale intervals. The abstraction of Peranakan pattern is a recurring theme in this project, and the elaborate patterns are also found on the floor finishing and ceilings.