In 2013, we interviewed architect Tan Cheng Siong, recipient of the President's Design Award 2012, to find out more about Pearl Bank Apartments, one of the earliest and most iconic apartment projects in Singapore. The property was recently sold to CapitaLand for $728 million in a collective sale.
I remember reading somewhere on one of the URA planning documentations (somewhere in the bowels of the NUS Central Library) that the original location for this station was to be at Changi Airport. There were two alignments that were studied, one above ground and one underground. The above ground alignment would have culminated in the Foster designed station, serving as an architectural icon at the center of the airport complex. However, it was decided that the vista of the Changi control tower was too iconic to be blocked by this new MRT station, and hence the underground alignment was chosen. The Foster design was also too good to be discarded, and hence it was moved to the Expo station instead.
"Singapore is a very small place in a very, very large, variable, changing world, and if it is not nimble, if it is not swift in making adjustments, it will perish and the people know that." These words from Mr Lee Kuan Yew articulate Singapore's approach to its policies, national initiatives, and affairs in general. We track some of these state adjustments and their physical bodies, where, as with all ventures, we see a mix of successes and failures.
'I'm going to Singapore and expecting you to show me a good time!' That's what your friend says as your mind flashes to the strobe lights of Clarke Quay. Save that for later. Spend your day at these buildings that were abandoned for periods and have met different fates. Show this person a side of Singapore that even you, perhaps, didn't know about.
Some feel that Marina Bay lacks the type of citizen housing which endears and enables it to be thought of as a national tableau. Our selection of five public housing projects show that this was not the case for older 'downtowns', though. Their aggregation hopefully sheds light on the expanse of what we might consider a 'national' or 'collective' space where citizens live, work, and play.