Six restoration projects win Architectural Heritage Awards

Six restoration projects have won the Architectural Heritage Awards this year.

They include the National Museum of Singapore’s $79m makeover as well as two private terrace houses that have been restored for modern-day living while retaining their historical charm.

The National University of Singapore’s Law School on Bukit Timah Road is also one of the winners.

The luxurious hotel suites at the Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa are the fifth winner of the award.

Built on top of a small hill to enjoy the natural sea breeze surrounding Sentosa, the hotel suites were transformed from two former military barrack blocks housing British soldiers before and after World War II.

But reminders of the past have been preserved in the transformation, including the former telegraphic posts and even a disused bomb shelter.

Miyake Masaki, concept architect for Amara Sanctuary Partner, Miyake Masaki Associates, said: “The bomb shelter was a unique item and building in Singapore. So I intentionally kept this one… will convert it to a small party space or a wine cave. We have many possibilities there.”

The sixth award winner is the House No. 1 located at the eastern tip of Pulau Ubin.

It is believed to be Singapore’s only remaining authentic Tudor-style house with a fireplace. Its uniqueness fits in nicely with its new function as a visitor centre to Singapore’s nature treasure, Chek Jawa Wetlands.

One of the two private houses that won the heritage award is situated at No.13, Martaban Road.

Once used as a dormitory for orderlies from the nearby Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the two-storey terrace house has been charmingly turned into a chic, contemporary home without sacrificing its humble heritage.

The other private house which won the award is the two-storey Early shophouse at No.62, Niven Road.

The Architectural Heritage Awards were organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

This year’s six winners bring the total number of projects that have received the Awards to 77 since the launch of the Awards in 1995.

The award ceremony was held at the National Museum of Singapore.

As Singapore develops, more is being done to preserve its past. Nearly 230 buildings in the Joo Chiat-Katong area are being considered for gazetting for conservation.

This will add to some 700 buildings in the area that have already been gazetted for conservation.

The majority are terrace and shophouses, including the two blocks at the junction of Everitt Road and Koon Seng Road. Also selected are St Hilda’s and Bethesda (Katong) Church, plus four bungalows.

The URA is currently in consultation with the owners.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said that revitalising the areas is just as important as conserving the buildings.

He said: “Holland Village is not the only village in Singapore, we’ve got a very lovely, quaint little place called Siglap Village. Again, I think, it is developing very nicely. So we will try to improve the roadside facilities at Siglap Village.”

There are also plans to bring life back to Punggol Point, which used to be a chilli crab haven before the restaurants were closed down.

Mr Mah said the waterfront at Punggol Point will be opened up with a new 4.9km promenade which stretches to Sungei Serangoon.

Woodlands, too, will get a promenade.

The projects will be ready by 2010. – CNA/ir

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 01 Oct 2007

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