Back to All Events

Bicentennial Tour: 200 Years of Architecture - Fri 26 April


Price $90 / ticket
200 Years of the Development of Architecture, from Neo-Palladian to Futuristic

Singapore is a feast of architectural styles and heritage, from classic European influences to ultra modern designs inspired by great minds in Asia and the Middle East.

Starting at the Civic District, we explore the legacy of our first architect, Irishman George Coleman, who designed much of the infrastructure of Singapore in the early 19th century, as well gems such as the Armenian Church and our oldest building, the Arts House.

We then move on to later in that century to look at the work of colonial engineers such as Major McNair and John Bennett, before heading into the early 20th century to meet R. A. J. Bidwell, the star of the firm Swan & Maclaren. Together they left an indelible mark on Singapore's heritage. The first half of the 20th century also saw the construction of such buildings as the Victoria Memorial Hall, which was reopened in 2014 after an extensive and sensitive four-year restoration, and the old Supreme Court and City Hall, now adapted for reuse as our National Gallery.

Next we'll explore a conservation area to see how our popular, practical and beautifully restored shophouses, with their eclectic mix of influences from both East and West, developed from simple structures to extremely elegant architectural masterpieces. This area also includes some Art Deco buildings and we'll discuss the style and impact on our architecture.

And finally we'll end in the Tanjong Pagar area to admire both the Tanjong Pagar Centre development (our tallest building), plus the Oasia Downtown hotel, designed by local innovative architects WOHA, as an example of "skyrise greenery" — the use of plantings to insulate and cool buildngs more naturally. From there we can also view the iconic Pinnacle housing development, the tallest and most developed public housing on offer from the HDB (Housing Development Board).

Throughout this tour we will also discuss how Singapore's architectural development reflects our development as a country.