Oru Kiosks

Origami folds structurally inspire a set of kiosks simultaneously creating both retail and public seating facilities.

We were approached by the Fullerton Hotel to look at design ideas for the Merlion Park. This park was for the moment another typical bypass tourist attraction, with visitors durations not extending beyond two hours.

A series of 5 new kiosks were proposed.  These Oru Kiosks were created from the concept of folded plates for self-supporting structural integrity and their inherent aesthetic. The word “Oru” comes from the Japanese root word “fold” from which the initial structural model was derived.

We began to cross-fertilise a commercial frontage with urban furniture, resulting in the hybrid section.  Folds were made at strategic lines of stress and force to maintain overall structural rigidity.  The articulations of the folds enable a multiplicity of uses from plant troughs, reflective surfaces and display space. Several studies were made of the proposed structure and versions of the folds were investigated using computer-aided structural analysis.  The final proposed structure was a composite structure that utilises a steel frame with self-supporting folded plates to provide usable surface and to reinforce collective rigidity.  A pure folded plate structure would have been too heavy for that dimension.

We collaborated with individuals, experts in their own fields (fashion, photography amongst others) to translate their design ethos to each of these kiosks.  With the potential to fabricate each Oru Kiosk in a different material, each kiosk would morph with its own character.

The Oru Kiosks were designed to provide new seating around the park and to present new opportunities for visitors to enjoy the Merlion and the Marina Bay. When rotated, they perform as seating areas for public outdoor performances, inserting a slice of vibrancy to the area.  At night, depending on the translucency of the material, the kiosks become illuminated “lanterns”.

The Merlion Park requires a whole package of programs to enhance and revitalize the public space.  The mere aesthetic of the kiosks will not be able to effect significant changes to the urban area.  The new Oru Kiosks if coupled with new activities and landscape would be able to provide a new urban platform for both tourists and locals alike.

Client The Fullerton Hotel
Program 5 units of Retail and Landscape Kiosks (Commercial / Landscape)
Area 200 m²
Status Design Development / Construction Documentation
Consultants Adams Kara Taylor (London)
Engineers 2002 (Singapore)
Time Period 2005-2006