Through the process of urban renewal, Singapore’s Central Business District rose above the ashes of a colonial town. From the 1960s to the 1990s, countless historic buildings were torn down for multi-use complexes and office skyscrapers.
But the wheels of urban renewal have not stopped turning - well-oiled by an open property market and the lure of good monetary returns. Some of these complexes and skyscrapers have been sold to developers and torn down to be replaced by newer buildings. The cranes and heavy machinery rumble on night and day.
This is playing out in the Tanjong Pagar area, between Tanjong Pagar Plaza and Keppel Road.
In 1983, 16-storey Euro-Asia Centre was completed at 15 Hoe Chiang Road. Nearby, 38-storey Fuji Xerox Towers at 80 Anson Road was completed in 1987. Then, in 1991, 27-storey Keppel Towers at 10 Hoe Chiang Road was completed, opposite Euro-Asia Centre. Not to be outdone, renovations were done on Euro-Asia Centre to extend its height by 13 storeys to 29 storeys in all; they were completed in 2004, and thereafter, it was renamed Tower Fifteen.
Not one of these buildings will reach their fourth decade of existence. All of them were recently sold for redevelopment. Demolition of Keppel Towers and Tower Fifteen commenced earlier this year, and is still ongoing. Woe to the residents of 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, who have front-row seats to a cacophony of drilling and hacking (below).
Keppel Towers in the foreground, Tower Fifteen in the background.
A close-up of Keppel Towers.
And their woe looks set to continue as demolition of Fuji Xerox Towers is about to begin.
For now, Fuji Xerox Towers is still standing tall; meanwhile, in the foreground, work has begun on One Bernam, a 35-storey condominium project at 1 Bernam Street.
At ground level: In front, a building about to be born; behind, a building about to go.
One Bernam should be completed by 2026.
The skyline of the southern part of Tanjong Pagar will be transformed in the next five years. Watch this space.