To a certain extent, our schools shape us. After all, we attend school during the formative years of our lives, and most of our social experiences occur within the compounds of our schools. Because of this, the second design of Building Singapore, my series of minimalist Singapore buildings, is based on my current residential college in university, Cinnamon College.
This design, like my previous one, contains quite a bit of detail, to the extent where it feels almost foolish, since they’re not really noticeable from a normal viewing distance or zoom level. There is, however, an odd sense of satisfaction in putting effort into the details that are only visible upon close scrutiny. One example to show this would be the windows: I’ve used different combinations of windows – some closed, some with the left pane open, etc. – to create a sense of inhabitancy in the building.
While Cinnamon College is really a hostel and not where I attend most of my lessons in university, it is nevertheless where I spent most of my time, and certainly the single building most associated with my university experience. Living with my friends in the same building (or even the same apartment), having supper or Doctor Who mini-marathons in the middle of the night, complaining about our rather horrendous dining hall food, all these made staying in residential college feel somewhat like an extended chalet stay. (The costs, too, sure feel like they’re for an extended chalet stay.)
Sometimes, though, when I look out of my window at 2 or 3am in the morning and see that almost half of the lights at the opposite residential college is still switched on, I’d feel a slight sense of desolation. Those little squares of yellow light glow like the tired eyes of a monster yearning to rest, especially when their blinds are half-drawn. Looking at the tired lights, I’d feel that, for all of us working into the late hours, the fight against time had long been lost. That at some point in our decade-long journeys, we’d fell past the tipping point – crossed the point of no return – and from then on, a constant trade-off became an inevitable part of our lives. We’d sacrifice time for performance. Trade soul for security.
But of course, not everyone who stays up late does so for work. Some, I’d imagine, stay up late doing the things they like. Painting, drawing, reading, blogging, watching the latest episode of their favourite K-drama. Maybe their passion keeps them up all night. Maybe within the little squares of light, dreams are slowly being built. Brick by brick, tick by tick.
Ok, enough of being sappy.
The shadows in this building were trickier to create than those for the Old Supreme Court, because Cinnamon College has specially designed frames around windows that block the sun from entering rooms, and the shadows have to show how the frames extend outwards and towards the viewer. Also, there were rather few high-res images of Cinnamon College that I could work with. Yes, I know I live here, but it’s hard to look at the structure of the building without appearing like a pervert.
Also, I couldn’t resist not adding myself into the picture!
Like my Old Supreme Court design, I’ve created a desktop wallpaper version: