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Kampung Admiralty: Singapore’s First Integrated Vertical Retirement Community

What makes Kampung Admiralty so special?

Kampung Admiralty: Singapore’s First Integrated Vertical Retirement Community

Juliet Taylor


March 24th, 2022

Kampung Admiralty is an 11-story building containing two residential blocks and around 100 residential apartments. It was Singapore’s first retirement community project undertaking by the HBD, Singapore’s national Housing and Development Board.

The building has been meticulously designed to provide lifelong shelter and facilities for those aged 55 and above. Within the building are a number of facilities to improve the lives of its residents, including wellness centers, healthcare, childcare, and eldercare facilities.

The Kampung Admiralty is hailed as the future of building design due to its revolutionary, one-stop design. Typically, a block would be carved into multiple buildings by different government agencies. However, the Kampung Admiralty makes efficient use of the space by combining all of the facilities which would normally be separate under one roof. Also known as the Vertical Village, the Kampung Admiralty hosts a community plaza, a medical center, and a community park across its various stratums.

Kampung Admiralty Meaning

The Kampung Admiralty is named after its location and purpose. Located in the subzone “Admiralty” of residential town Sembawang, Kampung Admiralty takes the second half of its name directly from its location. “Kampung” denotes the type of structure, referring to the village-like holistic design of this one-stop community.


Kampung Admiralty was designed by the Singaporean architecture firm WOHA architects and opened in 2018 on the 12 of May. Opening day saw an excited crowd, with a kompang group leading the ceremony and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opening the building to the public.

The Kampung Admiralty was designed as a proposal for how architecture ought to innovate in order to cope with the pressures of an ageing population. The self-sufficient retirement home supports healthy ageing and provides a space in which elderly people can build a community and stay connected to their families.

Communal facilities such as the living room, park, plaza, and medical center are all there to promote an active lifestyle, encouraging a higher quality of life among seniors. There are also regular complementary programs such as the Active Aging Hub and childcare, encouraging residents to foster connections and live active lives.


The Kampung Admiralty has won a number of awards over the years. Most notably, it won one of the most prestigious awards across the globe at the 2018 World Architecture Festival, where the it was named Building of the Year over 535 competing projects from around the world of the most notable is the international award provided by the non-profit Urban Land Institute: the Global Award for Excellence, attributed to the Kampung Admiralty in 2021.

The notoriety and acclaim received by the Kampung Admiralty has inspired a number of similar builds, with the Minister for National Development – Desmond Lee – commenting that the housing typology will soon be replicated in other towns. Mr Lee referenced the Yew Tee Integrated Development specifically, a similar vertical village currently under development in Choa Chu Kang. The Yew Tee Integrated Development will take much design inspiration from Kampung Admiralty, housing multiple medical facilities such as a kidney dialysis center and a poly clinic as well as community centers and commercial shopping areas.

Kampung Admiralty Singapore Floor Plans

First Floor:

The first floor is at ground level and features a number of outdoor facilities. The main attractions of the first floor include a community plaza, eco pong, stage, biotope, through-fare, drop off, lift lobby, pharmacy, eating house, shop, loading and unloading bay, underground bicycle storage, admiralty place, MRT, and a playground.

Sixth Floor:

The sixth floor also has a number of facilities for its residents. This includes a function hall, an active ageing hub, childcare center, playground, fitness area, link bridge, and sky terrace full of lush plants to keep the residents feeling connected with nature.

Ninth Floor:

The ninth floor contains another sky terrace as well as a studio apartment and a community farm. The community farm is one of the Kampung Admiralty’s most popular features, providing a space for residents to come together and enjoy the scenery as a collective.

The community farm is incredibly lush and well looked after, containing over 30 species of tropical plants. The most popular trees in the community farm are longan and chiku, though the variety is vast.

Kampung Admiralty Greenery

Perhaps the most iconic feature of the Kampung Admiralty is the huge amount of greenery, visible even from the street. The Kampung Admiralty won the Skyrise Greenery Award at the World Architecture Festival in 2017.

Before its construction, the build site was an empty field in the hub of the town. The nature-focused building design allowed for over a 100% replacement of the cleared landscape. From the ground level planting and the park to the green roofs and vertical walls, this building is saturated in nature.

The plants alone are not the only green feature of the Kampung Admirality either. The hydrological system installed in the building conserves over a million gallons of water every year. Stormwater runoff is collected in the rainwater tanks and reused for irrigation.

The bioretention basin outside of the medical center is another strategy in place to involve residents in the collection and harvesting of rainwater, as well as interacting with the natural surroundings.

These are all very motivating strides forward in the ever evolving quest for sustainable design. However, the collaboration of nature and architecture also has a very positive human effect which should not be overlooked. The presence of plants has been proven to improve mental health, and regular practices like gardening can decrease stress, improve blood pressure levels, and even help with concentration. For more information on the scientific benefits of plants in modern life, see here.

All things considered, the Kampung Admiralty is one of the best places to live in modern Singapore – and building designs of the future are thankfully set to follow suit.

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