Concept tweak: restoration

Beyond Abandonment: Restoring Keppel Hill Reservoir

Main theme: Abandoned local spaces

Location: Keppel Hill Reservoir

Objective / Aims of project:

  • To ‘restore’ Keppel Hill Reservoir to its pre-abandoned state, in hopes of peaking interest and awareness towards the now abandoned site
  • Encourage people to visit and appreciate the history behind Keppel Hill Reservoir

How is it different/similar from my previous concept:

Previous concept was to document ruins and aesthetics of abandonment and use this to raise awareness and interest towards abandoned site. May be too superficial to only consider the aesthetics of these abandoned spaces. Also, just documenting the current abandoned space will merely ‘expose’ all of KHR and leave no room for curiosity, might not even interest people to visit.

New concept would still be to raise awareness and interest, but through imagining what pre-abandoned KHR might have looked like. Concept includes story and history behind site so there is heritage aspect in project.

Ultimately, new project will still require documentation of elements of abandoned Keppel Hill Reservoir, but now I will use these elements to ‘piece the puzzle’ and attempt to ‘restore’.

Breakdown of KHR:


– abandoned reservoir 1925 onwards, later used as an outdoor Olympic swimming pool by both British & Japanese soldiers between 1925-1954


– still has elements of an outdoor pool: partial diving board, shower area, platform, steps area, pipes, toilets, colonial-era house nearby


– known to be a haunted place, 3 people have drowned so far: in 1936 & 1948

– an interesting site of urban exploration nevertheless, dates back to 1905


Portraying Keppel Hill Reservoir in the 1920s, back when it was an outdoor Olympic swimming pool. Final could potentially be 1900s Catalogue:

A project to reimagine how KHR was like in the past. Catalogue could be something that was used in the past to promote KHR as a go-to destination for outdoor swimming and a getaway vacation.

Planned approach

  1. Document and study main elements of KHR on site — photograph, video, sketches
  2. Research how past outdoor pools were like
  3. Establish moodboard/colour palette
  4. Piece elements together, restore KHR in the form of a catalogue

Research question(s)

Will knowing the history/stories provide better appreciation and interest towards Keppel Hill Reservoir?

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