A makeshift path across a defunct railway line links two worlds as different as can be. On one side there is the residential world of government subsidised housing blocks with playgrounds for children, covered sitting areas for the elderly, small shops, busy food courts, ghosts and other mysteries.
On the other side there is Biopolis, Singapore’s incorporated vision of what a global centre for life sciences and cutting edge biomedical research should look like. Constructed between 2003 and 2006, Biopolis consists of nine large buildings with names like Nanos, Genome, Matrix, or Immunos – linked by illuminated passages with each other.
The old railway was shut down in June 2011. The rails were dismantled and people started using the narrow corridor as shortcut between Biopolis and the residential housing blocks north and east of it. Several footpaths across this no man’s land emerged.
These images were taken on a Sunday evening. Biopolis feels eerily empty and silent at weekends. Traffic lights give way to absent pedestrians and imagined cars at the intersection of Biomedical Grove and Biopolis Drive. The distant sound of ventilation systems magnifies the silence. Maintenance staff exit Matrix and head home across the abandoned railway lines.