Rejuvenating Limbang Shopping Centre

For many of us who grew up and live in Singapore, the neighbourhood shopping centre is a familiar concept. Conveniently located within residential areas, they offer a wide range of goods and services, reducing the need for residents to travel far for their daily needs. As neighbourhoods evolve and demographics shift, revamping shopping centres allows them to adapt to these changes and cater to the current population, while upgrading outdated facilities to improve functionality, aesthetics, and accessibility.

Limbang Shopping Centre, which reopened its doors officially on 3rd February 2024, is one recent example of a successfully rejuvenated neighbourhood shopping centre. The design idea for the rejuvenation was conceived as early as 2020 by CPG Consultants, whose proposed design was awarded the Certificate of Merit at the HDB Design Awards 2020 under the 'To-Be-Built Rejuvenation Category'.

As the architect behind the revamping project, it was the primary goal of CPG Consultants to inject vibrancy into this establishment and create an environment that fosters a sense of community.

Positioned strategically between the Yew Tee and Choa Chu Kang MRT stations, a rejuvenated Limbang Shopping Centre reopened this year has been rejuvenated with new features and amenities.

Designing to Facilitate Community Engagement

Prioritising community engagement as a core function of the neighbourhood shopping centre, the design focus is on building more vibrant and attractive spaces for residents to gather, socialise, and connect. With a sleek new roof adorned with skylights, the covered and cross-ventilated community plaza on the first storey is bathed in natural light, creating a welcoming ambiance, and offering an ideal setting for various community activities.

The Community Plaza provides a big welcoming social space for community activities and performances.

Evoking Nostalgia Through Landscape Architecture

Behind Limbang Shopping Centre’s landscape design is the Landscape Architecture team from CPG Signature. Elements of the hardscape architecture are inspired by the forms and colours of Peranakan culture, as well as glimpses of history from Singapore’s diverse multiracial heritage. Adorning the walls of the interiors are murals depicting rows of Peranakan shophouses. The indoor courtyard features design motifs, furniture, and artwork reminiscent of kampung days, highlighting Singapore’s old kampung lifestyle through both agricultural and social aspects.

The murals feature a kampung-themed design showing cultivation of fruits and vegetables, reminiscent of olden days where such produce led to trading and employment opportunities.

These historical developments are likely to have helped shape Singapore's unique food culture and social interactions, as seen in today’s modern-day hawker stalls, coffee shops, markets, and food courts—places where community connections can be fostered. This aesthetic enhancement not only provides a pleasing environment for residents, but it also promotes the historical value of the site.

Inclusive Spaces and Active Play

The design also aims to enliven spaces for both adults and the young, ensuring that the recreational needs of all age groups utilising the public spaces are met. One of the attractions designed by the landscape architects from CPG Signature is the Kampung Hide-out on the second storey. Inspired by nature, the Kampung Hide-out is a play area that features organic colours, mimicking a stately tree where children can create their own adventures.

The Kampung Hide-out promotes physical activity through climbing, sliding, balancing, and crawling.

­Image Credit: Semec Enterprise

The Kampung Hide-out not only allows children of all abilities to play together, but also promotes physical activity through climbing, sliding, balancing, and crawling. Being indoors, this also means children can play safely regardless of the weather.

Designing the zone as an inclusive space, CPG also considers the needs of adult and senior users who utilise this area. Fitness equipment such as elliptical trainers, shoulder twist wheels, dipping bars, and sit-up trains provide adults and the elderly a safe space to exercise and spend time with the young ones. Parents and guardians will also find the area a relaxing place for them to watch the children play, while observing community events unfolding in the plaza below.

Artist impressions of the fitness equipment that will be installed within the Kampung Hide-out area for adults and seniors. 

Image credit: Union Contractors

The completed Kampung Hide-out provides ample space for safe play and features attractive Kampung murals echoing those in the indoor courtyard, celebrating priceless remnants of the past and bridging different generations.

The revamp also aims at enhancing pedestrian circulation and accessibility in the shopping centre. Strategically placed escalators and ramps accommodate visitors with mobility challenges, ensuring easy access for elderly individuals, parents with strollers, and individuals with disabilities.

Improved accessibility facilitates seamless navigation between levels, improving overall foot traffic flow and reducing congestion.

Wellness and Sustainability in the Neighbourhood

To promote well-being and a sense of harmony with nature among the residents, the team from CPG Signature activated the outdoor areas of Limbang Shopping Centre as an “intensive landscape”, making them as attractive, accessible, and safe to use by the public as the indoors. Inspired by lush greenery reminiscent of popular Kampung species, the greenery coverage and flora diversity were greatly increased with over 40 species, improving thermal comfort, and enhancing overall biodiversity with fauna-attracting plant species.

Other landscaping features designed by CPG included an integrated rain-garden system (part of the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters feature under Singapore National Water Agency PUB’s ABC Waters Programme) with the outdoor landscape to manage site runoff and the provision of a smart auto-irrigation system throughout the greenery areas to manage water consumption. By incorporating a variety of greenery, water features, and carefully curated night lighting, particularly within the rain-garden areas, visitors' sensory experiences are significantly enriched.

In addition to the work done by CPG Consultants and CPG Signature, CPG Facilities Management (CPG FM) is also proud to contribute to the Limbang Shopping Centre revamp as its managing agent. During the upgrading process, CPG FM provided project management, quantity surveying, and facilities management services.

Together, CPG is honoured to be part of the Limbang Shopping Centre rejuvenation project, playing a role in ensuring that this charming neighbourhood establishment remains relevant, attractive, and functional for its residents, while contributing to the overall vitality of the community.