Fuse the two and we have an architectural genius who uses nature’s tranquillity to transform basic structures into towering green sanctuaries. Deborah Joy Peter hops onsite helmet-ready to deconstruct the maker’s premise of the sky being the limit.
Defined most of all by his architectural dexterity, Jason Pomeroy is a conceptualist with a critical eye where the design of buildings is concerned. Yet, the professor is no ordinary engineer. By now an author of at least three industry-specific books and host of two seasons of Channel NewsAsia’s City Time Traveller, the mover and shaker is a well-traversed draftsman who dreams up winning layouts even before the initial artist impression makes it from plot to paper.
In fact, his immersion in the field qualifies as ultra-unique in a manner that renders his creations both structurally sound and environmentally-friendly. An ideator with a particularly intense fascination towards edifices of the sky-rise variety and the tenacity to match, his penchant for construction is almost poetic. The architect suggests it is entirely possible that his love of green architecture was born in his parents’ garden in England.
Creatively inspired even as a boy, he remembers once upon a time, raising from the ground up, wigwams which were strewn together using branches, sticks, and leaves from the bushes and blankets from mum’s cupboard. “My interest was cemented during later visits to London, when my father took me to Sir Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. The lofty interior and domed structure simply took my breath away. From then on, I was hooked,” the founding principal of Singapore-based sustainable design firm, Pomeroy Studio, explains.
During his foundation years at the Canterbury School of Architecture in the United Kingdom, captured by the way each utilised what little space they had for the benefit of their inhabitants through skygardens and other communal spaces, his curiosity over high-rise cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore took root. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the turn of his masters at the University of Cambridge that his attention to sky-rise greenery and the role of skycourts and skygardens deepened.
In his words, green architecture pays respect to the natural environment by harnessing the sun, wind, and rain in a way that reduces energy, water consumption, and stress on the environment. However, established in 2012, Pomeroy Studio’s approach travels further by drawing from the essence of history, culture, and tradition to create ‘built environments’ that positively impact people’s lives. A good example is a previous project dubbed the Idea House, which is Asia’s first carbon-zero prototype home.
Beyond just solar panelled roofs, modern advancements such as photovoltaic cells and water harvesting influenced the aforementioned invention, which is modelled after the ancient Malay kampong house. “Built before the advent of electricity, the kampong house was designed to maximise natural light and ventilation while being expandable to accommodate a family of 3 to 5 as well as sensitive to its surroundings. Drawing inspiration from this traditional vernacular architecture of South East Asia, we reinterpreted it for the 21st century.”
The above cultivates an atmosphere conducive to a dweller’s needs while remaining considerate of the place. Thus, cities planned along sustainable lines lessen inequality with energy and building costs reduced, enabling citizens of lower economic means to live closer to the city centre and their places of work. “I hope the determination to preserve ancient culture and tradition is maintained and the kind of sustainable built environments I advocate and can be found in Singapore is replicated in other Asian cities including Kuala Lumpur.”
Meanwhile, from getting his feet wet in Venice to visiting ancient shrines in Kyoto, getting lost in the valleys of Bhutan, and marvelling at the Singapore skyline, Pomeroy’s journey has taken him as far as the regions of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Be it as a visiting professor at the Universita IUAV di Venezia or television personality cracking the code behind landscapes through City Time Traveller, his architectural development is ever-evolving while influenced by the countries he explores and people he meets.
“It is pleasing to see many of the lessons articulated in my book, The Skycourt and Skygarden: Greening the Urban Habitat, implemented in the city-state, whilst my foray into zero carbon housing which was similarly published in Idea House: Future Tropical Living Today has been a template for many of our low and zero energy design projects,” the designer tells Essenze, whilst continuing to make his mark as a best-in-class architect worldwide.
灵感的启蒙是当他还是男孩时候，记得有一次，用从灌木丛中拾到的树枝、树叶等搭建简易的帐篷支架，而覆盖的毯子取自母亲的柜子。“那年在伦敦，我父亲带我到圣保罗大教堂，崇高装潢和圆顶结构，轻易攫夺我的呼吸，从那时起，我就深深着迷。”这名在新加坡创立永续建筑设计公司 – Pomeroy工作室的建筑师说着他的心路旅程。