The list of 1970s era Singaporean Brutalist icons under threat of demolition is just about as long as the national list of Brutalist icons. Last week, I wrote about the Pearl Bank Apartment, where demolition is actively underway with very little time remaining for conservation. Today, I’m happy to write about the Golden Mile Complex, once known as the Woh Hup Complex. It was first envisioned in 1967 as the first building to come out of the HDB Urban Renewal Department’s ‘Sales of Sites’ program. It was designed by Gan Eng Oon, William S.W. Lim, and Tay Kheng Soon of Design Partnership, now known as DP Architects, built by Woh Hup, and owned & managed by Singapura Developments.Read More
If it wasn’t for a leaf and a nut, Singapore would not be what it is today, and I learned this by looking at Emerald Hill Road. This history starts with the introduction of colonialism to Singapore in 1819, connecting the small tropical island with the European economy. Once the profitable relationship with the East India Company became available, colonizers and Chinese Immigrants alike took to the disastrous task of deforestation to satiate the demand for gambier leaves and nutmeg seeds. By fitting in the middle of three distinct periods, the history of Emerald Hill represents how suburban Singapore is connected to the colonial origins of the nation through agricultural deforestation, suburbanization, and urbanization.Read More
LITTLE COMPTON—Rhode Island. Yes, it’s real, and not a conspiracy by Delaware to avoid being labeled the smallest state in the US! The images for this post were captured in late August.
This is just my second time visiting Little Compton, but the first time visiting with a keen eye for architecture and landscaping. Also, the first time was November and the weather was absolutely miserable. I’m pleased with how the images have turned out, and it also turned my interest in getting to understanding a bit about how the area came to be what it is now. At the surface, a deep admiration for colonialist tradition was evident. The British-style stone walls and rolling green fields look like an attempted carbon copy of the British countryside. So, I do that. Join along for a little dig into the origins of Little Compton.Read More
SINGAPORE—Today’s post will go in chronological order of an unsuccessful location scouting for views of Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Terminal on the 9th of September. The terminal has been cleared of containers in Singapore’s process of opening up the new self-described mega-port at Tuas. This clearing, of course, will have major implications for the future of the area. The vast waterfront area will become the site of new development. The URA has had sealed lips regarding what’s going to happen next, so I’m excitedly waiting for any information. Locals do not necessarily feel so excited though, I was told by one resident. She aired some anxiety about the possibility of her 1977-built HDB block going en bloc and being demolished. With this as context, I was hoping to do two things. The first was to document the areas around the port, and the second was to get an establishing view of the port. I had some success with both points.Read More
A two-part blog post, inaugurating SITE VISITS, and showcasing recent images of the haze affecting Singapore and Malaysia with sources and commentary.Read More