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THE BROAD VIEW

Adding value without demolition, rebuilding: Regenerating Singapore's modernist icons

Born of a highly experimental period in Singapore's architectural, urban and political history, Brutalist icons such as Pearl Bank, Golden Mile Complex and People's Park Complex can be creatively conserved and rehabilitated - in ways that benefit all stakeholders - owners, developers, government and society-at-large.

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Brutalist structures - a stark style of functionalist architecture, especially of the 1950s and 1960s, that is characterised by the use of steel and concrete in massive blocks - are exemplified by People's Park Complex (above) and Golden Mile Complex. Deterioration and illegal additions may have turned these buildings into what the public sees as "urban blights".

BT_20180407_GOLDEN_3382966.jpg
Brutalist structures - a stark style of functionalist architecture, especially of the 1950s and 1960s, that is characterised by the use of steel and concrete in massive blocks - are exemplified by People's Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex (above). Deterioration and illegal additions may have turned these buildings into what the public sees as "urban blights".

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After three failed collective sale attempts in the early 2000s, Pearl Bank (left) was finally sold to major property developer CapitaLand last month. While there were calls for the structure to be conserved, there was also widespread negative sentiment and doubt, even from admirers, that the building could be feasibly rehabilitated.

SINGAPORE'S modernist megastructures show heroic scale and muscular form, yet their vulnerability is painfully apparent in the actual and attempted collective sale of Pearl Bank Apartments, People's Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex.

These were all built during the earliest phases of...

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