I dreamt that between the fourth and tenth floor, there lay 800 metres of the Rochor River... I marvelled at the notion that nature could somehow be turned entirely into architectural feature, framed by buildings.
I live 400 metres from Rochor Canal, a distance I measured so as to find out what was the walking range of my 1 year old baby. During the covid-19 circuit breaker in Singapore, the Rochor Canal was the closest thing to a park we had in our heavily urbanised neighbourhood of Jalan Besar, so we walked up and down the canal whenever we could.
Today, this historic waterway bears little resemblance to archival images of its earlier incarnations as a natural river with buffalo bathing in its waters. Tall housing development blocks and high rise buildings flank its banks, towering over the waters.
One day, I vividly dreamt that I was taking a lift in a generic Housing Development Board building. The lift suddenly stopped on the third floor, whereupon an exquisitely dressed attendant got in and informed me politely that between the fourth floor and tenth floor, we would now be travelling omnidirectionally through 800 metres of the Rochor River. As the lift doors closed once again, I noticed that the walls of the lift had suddenly become transparent and amorphous in form, light flooded into the cabin, and the lift glided through iridescent, pulsating greenery. Shrouded in the cool mist of the river forced to weave its path inside a building, I marvelled –and also puzzled– at the notion that nature could somehow be turned entirely into architectural feature, framed within a building.