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Exploring a golden ship

Last month, it was announced that Golden Mile Complex - one of Singapore's post-independence architectural icons - would be proposed for conservation. Today, Tiak and I paid a visit to the 47-year-old, 16-storey complex at Beach Road to celebrate its survival.

The frontage along Beach Road.

The first three storeys of the building are occupied by shops and restaurants, many of them Thai. It remains to be seen if they - and the Thai community present in this urban space - would survive a future collective sale.

Is it the lights? The floor tiles? The drab, tired walls? Something builds to a 1970s / 1980s vibe which this complex has managed to retain.

The letterboxes of the residents, on the ground floor.

The fourth to the ninth storeys are filled by offices. I love the exposed architecture of the interior, which allows natural light to enter, and keeps the area cool, removing the need for electricity-consuming air-conditioning. It also allows one to see multiple storeys of offices stacked on top of one another, much like the decks of a ship.

The 10th to the 16th storeys are residential. At the 10th floor, there is a void deck made possible by more exposed architecture. Again, there is a sense of space and openness amidst high-rise close quarters.

The 11th floor common corridor. What struck me was the lowness of the ceiling, and that there are no large living room or bedroom windows opening into the common corridor - all the windows are the small ones giving ventilation to bathrooms or toilets. This is unlike the common corridors of many HDB blocks.

This circular motif is common throughout the building - again, it reminds me of a ship.

I'm glad that this is one ship that will not sink!