The canopy structures of the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station building will be dismantled and fully restored after the completion of the new Circle Line Cantonment station in 2025, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said in a joint statement on Friday (May 27).
“The old train platform canopies are important to the history and memories of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, a national monument with deep historical, architectural and social significance,” the authorities said in the release.
“The decision to reinstate the canopy structures was taken following consultations with members of the heritage community, as well as detailed studies conducted with an architectural conservation specialist on its technical viability.”
In October last year, LTA engaged a heritage consultant and briefed members of the heritage community on possible plans for the iconic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, which is set to make way for the construction of the new Cantonment MRT station.
The options were to either dismantle, store, then reinstate the old railway station platform; re-create a replica of the platform; or create a new interpretation of the platform. Heritage groups expressed support for the reinstatement of the platform.
On Friday, the authorities said LTA called a tender for “advanced works to dismantle, repair, and reinstate the former railway station’s train platform canopy structures”. This will help to “retain the sense of heritage and memories of the old train platform area,” they added.
The new station will be built under the platform area of the former railway station, and integrated with the railway station building. To facilitate the building work, about 290m of each of the two old platforms will be dismantled. The first 80m of each platform, extending from the railway station building, will be unaffected by building work and will be protected throughout the construction, the authorities added.
The integration of the new and old train stations will give commuters not only greater transport accessibility and connectivity, but also a unique travelling experience, the agencies said.
“Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will be used as a multi-functional community building for 20 years after the new MRT station is completed. The MRT station will give it a new lease of life, and contribute to making the railway station a highly accessible and vibrant community node of the Rail Corridor,” they added in the release.
Starting from the fourth quarter of this year, the appointed contractor will dismantle the canopy structures – comprising the roof, beams and columns, and store them at a nearby restoration yard. The appointed contractor will then repair and restore the structures, and reinstate them with reconstructed platform slabs in 2025 after the Cantonment station has been completed.
Mr Ho Weng Hin, Partner of Studio Lapis, an architectural conservation specialist consultancy firm involved in the works, said the method of dismantling, restoring, and reinstating the platform structures was developed over months to concentrate on the canopy structures, which are of “high heritage and architectural significance”.
This was done after conducting heritage surveys, studying existing conditions, and working with various parties to review the pros and cons of alternative strategies, he added.
LAST OPEN HOUSE AT OLD RAILWAY STATION: DEC 25
The SLA has opened the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to the public every public holiday since February 2015, in response to “keen interest” from Singaporeans to visit the heritage site.
The SLA will continue with this practice on every public holiday this year until Christmas Day (Dec 25), it said in the release.
However, to facilitate the construction of the new MRT station, the railway station will subsequently be closed until the completion of Cantonment station in 2025, the authorities said.
During construction, maintenance and stabilisation work will be carried out on the railway station building and mitigation measures put in place to protect it and there will be measures to minimise any potential inconvenience and disturbance to residents and businesses nearby, they added.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 27 May 2016