Saturday, January 06, 2007

Singapore Modern : 60s & 70s

During one of my previous visits back in Singapore, I took a couple of snapshots of "nostalgic value" and "interesting discursive value" buildings which I came across during my random walks in and around Singapore. I thought I'd share them with you here and see what your responses are. I'm not sure if all of them are still standing (or whether they will still be standing one or two years from now)

Whenever I walk past this building, I can't help but notice that it references two canonical buildings in the history of modern architecture : 1) Gropius' Bauhaus building (where the black "floating volume" is concerned) , and , 2) Corbusier and Niemeyer's Ministry of Education Building in Rio de Janeiro (where the brises soleil [sun-breaker] facade rhythm is concerned) It's on Hill Street. [sorry, can't find an image of the building online to link it]

Being the nostalgia whore that I am, you can imagine my sadness at seeing the Neptune Theatre Restaurant close, and possibly Change Alley Plaza might go along with it too. I can only speculate on this piece of architecture. It seems like an extremely radical piece of architecture for the 1970s. (One entire ribbon connector pedestrian bridge with its own "inner-street" of shops and restaurants which are located in pods on either side.... plus a circular possibly revolving restaurant that arrives from space age.) Were the architects influenced by Archigram's "Plug-in City"?

I assumed that this church was built during a period when construction techniques were still fairly primitive. Nevertheless, it aspired toward achieving dynamic non-rectilinear form. That, I find very respectable in view of the limited construction technology available then. (Though I am slightly disappointed that the building is a tad bit vertical.)

I am not sure if this building references another building which I particularly like: The Philharmonie by expressionist Hans Scharoun, built in post-WWII Berlin.

The remaining photos are just other examples of early modern nation-building architecture in Singapore which I thought were special.

And this last one is a personal idiosyncratic obsession.