Our Recent Past
d+a|Issue 118
As one of the most thoroughly modernist cities in the world, Singapore has a veritable treasure trove of buildings with this style. In an attempt to provide a sense of the general outline of the architectural movement here, non-profit docomomosg has compiled a list of 100 such projects comprising a mix from the heroic and everyday categories. Here, we feature 10 and detail their respective counterparts.
Docomomosg

PEOPLE’S PARK COMPLEX

YEAR BUILT: 1973

ARCHITECT: DESIGN PARTNERSHIP (TAY KHENG SOON, WILLIAM S.W. LIM, KOH SEOW CHUAN)

LOCATION: PARK ROAD/EU TONG SEN STREET

People’s Park Complex resulted from the Urban Renewal Department’s first Sale of Sites programme in 1967. Located within Precinct South 1, the area also housed landmarks such as Pearl Bank Apartments (1976), Outram Park Complex (1970), as well as the neighbouring People’s Park Market (1969), People’s Park Centre (1976) and Furama Hotel (1984). Completed in 1973, People’s Park Complex is a large mixed-use development of offices and residential apartments above a retail podium. The integrated podium-tower block aims to consolidate all the activities under one roof, while the internal “city room” of interlocking atriums was designed to encapsulate the bustling street life of Chinatown.

MARIS STELLA CHAPEL

YEAR BUILT: 1967

ARCHITECT: BEP AKITEK (SINGAPORE)

LOCATION: HOLLAND ROAD

Distinguished for their innovative architecture, tropical sensitivity and creative interpretation of liturgical requirements, post-war churches were a breed of their own. Notable examples include the Church of St. Bernadette (1959), Church of the Blessed Sacrament (1965) and Maris Stella Convent Chapel (1967) in Singapore. Established in 1953 by six sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the latter began as a kindergarten before growing into a vocational school for female primary school leavers. A new chapel was built in 1967, designed to be bold, modern, yet deeply engaging – all through the subtle play of tectonics, materiality and light.

PANDAN VALLEY CONDOMINIUM

YEAR BUILT: 1978

ARCHITECT: ARCHURBAN ARCHITECTS PLANNERS (TAN CHENG SIONG)

LOCATION: PANDAN VALLEY

Singapore’s early luxury high-rise apartment projects, Beverly Mai (1974) and Futura (1976), were both designed by Timothy Seow & Partners. These were renowned for championing the concept of “bungalows-in-the-air”, introducing to middle-income families an alternative to landed housing. While both have since been demolished, Pandan Valley Condominium, developed by DBS Realty, still stands today as an example of such pioneering condominium design. Built on a 20-acre suburban site with a natural valley, it comprises 605 spacious residential units housed in a combination of slab blocks, stepped blocks and point blocks, merged seamlessly into the hilly terrain.

FORMER MONK’S HILL SECONDARY SCHOOL

YEAR BUILT: 1939, 1958 ARCHITECT: PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT (PWD)

LOCATION: WINSTEDT ROAD

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