Tag Archives: conservation

Conserve the old but add some new extra space – Pearl Bank

That is the gist of a plan by owners of the historic Pearl Bank Apartments – and they have won tentative backing from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The URA sees merit in conserving the horseshoe-shaped project in Outram, at 38 storeys the tallest residential building here when built in 1976.

It is also prepared to consider supporting some increase in gross floor area (GFA), in line with the management committee’s plan.

The owners want a conservation order for the building and propose that the GFA limit be lifted so a new residential block can be added. If they get the approvals, they then hope to entice a developer to rejuvenate the building.

The committee has called an extraordinary general meeting with owners tomorrow to seek consent from subsidiary proprietors.

A URA spokesman said that as the proposal affects the entire development and interests of subsidiary proprietors, all of them must be aware of the plan and agree. But she also said it “welcomes the ground-up initiative by the management committee to conserve Pearl Bank Apartments as there are merits for its conservation”.

“When the distinctive horseshoe-shaped building was completed in 1976, it was the tallest residential building in Singapore and had the highest density for residential development,” she told The Straits Times.

The conservation bid was set in motion last month, when owners representing about 45 per cent of overall share value voted to submit the application for voluntary conservation and redevelopment to the URA. More than 98 per cent were in favour.

The committee said in the letter to owners that it received a positive reply from the URA, as the authority is prepared to consider a maximum 15 per cent increase in GFA over and above the existing approved GFA of 55,102 sq m. This is subject to a cap of 430 units in all, including the 280-unit existing block, it said.

Under the plan, drawn up by the firm of Mr Tan Cheng Siong, who designed the original block, a 27-storey residential block may be built on the area now occupied by a five-storey carpark.

It will have a rooftop garden, a swimming pool and a bridge to the existing block’s 28th-floor common space. The owners will also ask the Singapore Land Authority to extend the 99-year lease.

The bid for conservation and redevelopment comes after three attempts at a collective sale from 2007 to 2011 – with no takers, owing to the high asking price.

http://business.asiaone.com/news/ura-sees-merit-conservation-plan-pearl-bank#sthash.QkLBgTwX.dpuf

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Singapore Yu Huang Gong in Telok Ayer ready for visitors after restoration

Visitors will be greeted by a pair of dragons at the entrance and a newly replaced imperial treasure gourd at the top of a three-storey pagoda. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

For 170 years, as Singapore went from a colony to a nation, trudging through war, riots and disasters, a little-known building stood quietly in Telok Ayer.

A clan of Hokkien Peranakan merchants, who called themselves the Keng Teck Whay association, occupied it and kept it private.

To the outside world, it was often mistaken as part of the adjacent Thian Hock Keng temple, a Unesco award winner.

But after more than two years of revamp work, the building, now a house of worship, is ready to rival its famous neighbour. It even bears a new name: the Singapore Yu Huang Gong, or Temple of the Heavenly Jade Emperor.

Gazetted a national monument in 2009, it will finally open to the public next month.

“We didn’t have the experience or the funds, but we’ve made something out of nothing,” said Taoist Mission president Lee Zhiwang, whose group acquired the building for an undisclosed sum in 2010. “Now we have a place we can call home, and we’ve preserved our heritage.”

Visitors will be greeted by a pair of dragons at the entrance and a newly replaced imperial treasure gourd at the top of a three-storey pagoda.

They will also see the restored roof truss, timber columns, balustrade walls, double-leafed doors and encaustic floor tiles.

A team of craftsmen, including sculptors from Quanzhou, in the southern Fujian province of China, were brought in to work on the interiors.

“Timber logs had to be lifted by hand as there wasn’t much space to bring in heavy machinery,” said Master Lee.

The timber beams and columns were transported log by log from Telok Ayer Street by six workers who hoisted them with just light tools like pulleys.

The work was onerous. Conditions were bad as the roof of the entrance had started to sink inwards. When restoration began in 2012, the site was declared unsafe for occupancy.

As the structures are made of wood, termite infestation was a concern, said Dr Yeo Kang Shua, the project’s architectural conservator.

The roof was taken apart to access the timber components below, and these were disassembled to check for damage and repaired before re-assembly.

Said Master Lee: “It was challenging because we are not constructing a new building but restoring an old one.”

On Jan 1, a stretch of Telok Ayer Street will be closed to traffic from 1pm to 9pm for the opening celebration. The public can visit the monument from Jan 2. Admission is free.

All, however, is not complete. The cost of the revamp is about $3.8 million and the mission is short of $400,000.

It has raised about $3.4 million, including from Singaporeans of other faiths and tourists from countries such as Indonesia.

Said Master Lee: “When people realised the temple was in need of a facelift, they came forward to help.”

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/historic-buildings-revamp-completed-20141220?page=1#sthash.I4gcyJZM.dpuf

Conservation Status for Pearl Bank

If the 38-year-old Pearl Bank Apartments gets the conservation green light, it could pave the way to preserve other buildings which have played a role in Singapore’s residential architectural history.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has conserved more than 7,000 buildings, mostly shophouses and bungalows.

Now, for the first time, it has received an application to preserve a multi-strata private development.

If it gives its nod to Pearl Bank, architects say this will make it easier to protect other buildings with architectural, historic and social significance – such as the first Housing Board blocks in Queenstown which were built in 1960.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/housing/story/architects-keen-conservation-status-pearl-bank-20140508#sthash.v9vLtZ7i.QqdHWenq.dpuf

75 heritage buildings conserved

The Chief Planner has gazetted the Master Plan 2014 on 6 June 2014. The Master Plan 2014 is the statutory land use plan that guides the physical development of Singapore for the medium term.

As part of the Master Plan, all 75 heritage buildings proposed for conservation under the Draft Master Plan 2013 were also gazetted today.

75 BUILDINGS CONSERVED AS PART OF MASTER PLAN 2014

• Leong San See Temple, 371 Race Course Road

• Ban Siew San Temple, 2 Telok Blangah Drive

• Koon Seng Ting Temple, 4 Telok Blangah Drive

• Tang Gah Beo, 6 Bukit Purmei

• Kiew Lee Tong Temple, 5 Jalan Tambur

• Sian Keng Tong, 216 Changi Road

• Former Chee Kong Tong (Thekchen Choling) Entrance Gate, 2 Beatty Lane

• Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, 141 Serangoon Road

• Sri Manmatha Karuneshvarar Temple, 226 Kallang Road

• Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple, 555 Serangoon Road

• Sri Krishnan Temple, 152 Waterloo Street

• Angullia Mosque Gatehouse, 265 Serangoon Road

• Malabar Mosque, 471 Victoria Street

• Wak Tanjong Mosque, 25 Paya Lebar Road

• Former St Matthew’s Church & Kindergarten, 184 Neil Road

• Former Institute of Health (Bestway House), 226 Outram Road

• Alexandra Hospital, 378 Alexandra Road

• 394 Alexandra Road

• Queenstown Public Library, 53 Margaret Drive

• Former Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market, 38 Commonwealth Avenue

• Former Field Assistant’s House (Institute Of Policy Studies) & The Garage at Singapore Botanic Gardens

• 142 Moulmein Road (Department Of Clinical Epidemiology – Tan Tock Seng Hospital), 144 Moulmein Road (Tuberculosis Control Unit)

• 5 blocks of Singapore Improvement Trust flats at Kampong Silat (18, 19, 22, 23 & 24 Silat Avenue)

• Robertson Quay Warehouses (17, 19 & 21 Jiak Kim Street; 19 & 20 Merbau Road; 41 & 42 Robertson Quay, 63 Caseen Street and 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road)

• Former Royal Air Force Seletar (Blocks 179 & 450; 1, 2 & 226 Park Lane; 1 to 3 & 5 Hamilton Place; 3, 5A, 7, 9 to 13, 15 Hyde Park Gate; 1 to 16 The Oval