Monday, May 04, 2009

Starry, Starry Night


My favourite building - Parkview Square at night.

The Gateway Towers designed by world famous architect, Mr. I.M. Pei. The Singapore Flyer could be seen between the two towers.

Rebirth of Tekka Mall - introducing The Verge!

La Salle School of Arts - brightly illuminated at night
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I just love living in Little India. From Little India, my tenant and I could easily walk to Bugis Junction, Raffles Hotel, Newton Circus, Dhoby Ghaut at Orchard Road as well as Lavendar MRT and Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex.

My tenant, Jasmin, and I decided to do some walking exercises at night especially when the following day would be a holiday. I would arm myself with a bottle of water and my digital camera. The weather is often humid and by the time I reach home, I would be thoroughly drenched with perspiration!

Interesting how things look a little differently at night. Firstly, my favourite building which is Parkview Square is an office building located in the Downtown Core Planning Area, Central Region, Singapore. It is situated along North Bridge Road, and is near the major commercial hub at Marina Centre. It is next to Bugis MRT Station, Bugis Junction, and The Gateway, and straddles the Rochor Road and Ophir Road corridor.

Parkview Square is one of the more expensive office buildings in Singapore. The occupancy rate for this building was rather low when it first opened. However, as the economy improved, the occupancy rate for this building grew higher steadily. Besides commercial office space, Parkview Square also houses the embassies of Austria, Mongolia and the United Arab Emirates.

Parkview Square was designed by American Consultant James Adams, together with DP Architects of Singapore. It was built at a cost of SGD$87.93 million.

It was built as the last major project enterprised by the late Mr. C. S. Hwang, a Taiwanese tycoon chairman of Chyau Fwu Group. As his last project, he wanted it "imposing and monumental, yet stylish and elegant".

The office space on each floor is columnless so it can be reconfigured according to the tenant's wish. Although it is a modern building, having been completed in 2002, it is specially designed in the classic Art Deco style, following New York City 1929 Chanin Building as an inspiration. The exterior surface of the building is clad in brown Granite, bronze, lacquer, and glass.

The lobby is also designed mainly in the Art Deco style and features a 15m-high ceiling with handcrafted details. The bar in the lobby of the building has a unique 3-storey high wine chiller. The open plaza of Parkview Square is reminiscent of Piazza San Marco in Venice, with sculptures and statues surrounding the open plaza. There are many bronze effigies of some of the most famous figures in world history, including Sun Yat-sen, Abraham Lincoln, Salvador Dalí, Mozart, Chopin, Isaac Newton, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Plato, Dante, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein.

The building also has widespread use of motifs, sculptures, and ornamentation. The building is "guarded" by eight gigantic fiberglass statues of men holding a light ball in their hands, four of them standing on each broad side of the building's crown. Another example is the gargoyles decorating the building’s exterior, which are said to be hand-crafted[citation needed]. In the center of the plaza is a statue of a golden bird. On the pedestal is written a Chinese poem:



The Gateway Towers look formidable with their unique design. The Gateway is a building complex comprising two 37-storey 150-metre tall office towers on Beach Road in the Downtown Core of Singapore. The buildings were completed in April 1990.

The architecture of The Gateway has been described as "world class" by the National Library Board. The local Singaporean architectural firm that worked on this project was Chua Ka Seng and Partners Chartered Architects T.Y. Lin Structural Engineers from San Francisco also collaborated on the project.

The shape of the buildings is trapezoidal, which is similar to the form used by I. M. Pei in the critically acclaimed National Gallery of Art East Building in Washington, D.C. Locals refer to the buildings as "two towering cardboard boxes".
The two buildings are named "The Gateway East" and "The Gateway West".

As we turned back from Beach Road where Shaw Towers is located, we passed through Liang Seah Street. It was still abuzz with late diners and pub goers. Is Singapore becoming a city that never sleeps.? As we were nearer towards home, we saw the Verge beautifully illuminated. The anchor tenant is Sheng Siong, which is well known for its fair pricing and good service. The La School of Arts, with unique design, also look somewhat imposing at night.

We get to see more things when we walk. We also get to remember the names of places and ensure that we know where we are heading to. The above photos were taken by Jasmin as he is better at photography and has steadier hands.

I have always loved buildings but since I do not have the brains to study architecture, (I'm easily fazed by mathematical and scientific subjects) I could only be a property agent ...but an agent who is thrilled by gorgeous and fabulous designs of buildings in the world. A thing of beauty is a joy forever!


Anonymous said...

hey Choo Choo,

I stand corrected.... but I believe CS Hwang also built the Parkview apartments in Hong Kong. That is a high end condo development that he built that has got a number of towers, including a tower of serviced apartments.

I once visited my friend who lived there.... and the building has been built with 'magnificence' and 'style' in mind.

Tian Fang

The Oriental Express said...

Thanks for your information, Tian Fang.

I am always very happy when readers give me comments, feedback, criticism, praises, etc.