Here are seven urban objects built after Singapore’s independence that show a propensity for bigness. With recent projects such as the world's largest floating solar photovoltaic cell test-bed (2016), the world’s largest pre-school (2017), and the world's tallest indoor waterfall (2019), it would appear that that this trend is not only continuing, but intensifying.
Located in Singapore’s Garden Industrial Estate of Jurong, the Bird Park was intended to give its residents “a sense of belonging” and was envisioned to be Singapore’s top tourist attraction. At the time of its opening, the Bird Park also featured the highest man-made waterfall in the world, which was located within what was, purportedly, the world’s largest walk-in aviary. One article in The Straits Times also claimed that it was the world’s largest bird park.
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.
'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.