Friday, January 12, 2007

Then and Now

National Theatre (1964, demolished 1986) by Alfred Wong

Esplanade Theatres-on-the-Bay (2002) by Michael Wilford & DP Architects

I thought that it would be interesting for these two buildings to appear side by side, to see how differently the spirits-of-the-age were represented in iconic performing arts architecture in Singapore, 40 years apart. One represents national aspirations, the other represents global aspirations. Both played witness to world-class performing acts and momentous cultural events. How similar, how different.

Which do you prefer? (The retro-whore in me opts for the former, while the spoilt-by-air-conditioner me opts for the latter. )

"The five-pointed facade represented the five stars of the Singapore flag in the same way as the fountain was supposed to represent the crescent moon....... Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn once described it as 'the perfect one for this sort of climate.'" (click on link to read more about the National Theatre)