Sunday 2011-06-05

A History of Singapore Architecture

Between 1880 and 1900 there was an enormous increase in the population...
Many more women and families joined the community of European bachelors and changed society from the swashbuckling adventurer's life to one of more organized sedateness. Some remarked that the romance went out of life in Singapore when the ladies arrived.
-- Eclectic Expansion 1880 - 1900
Those men with the courage and sense to listen to him (Henry Ridley, developer of non-lethal rubber tree tapping) made fortunes and by the 1920's Malaya was supplying half the world's rubber.
The effect on Singapore was dramatic: by 1903 Singapore was the world's seventh largest port in terms of shipping tonnage.
-- The Boom Town 1900 - 1920
The need for improvements (to the Tanjong Pagar dockyards) was pressing, and when the board of the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company refused to sanction improvements which would cost $12 million the Government nationalized the company, making it into the Tanjong Pagar Dock Board.
-- The Boom Town 1900 - 1920
The largest markets in Singapore, the Tekka Market in Buffalo Road and the Serangoon Market, were built in 1915 just after the start of the First World War.
-- The Boom Town 1900 - 1920
In the 1920's unprecedented prosperity saw a considerable rise in government spending, with several large building projects for the administration, for the police, education, and medical services. Increased health care, better water facilities and sewage systems all helped to decrease the incidence of the most basic diseases born of filth, overcrowding and hot climate.
-- Period of Transition 1920 - 1940
At this time the police force modernized itself, learning to deal effectively with the almost constant fighting between rival street gangs in Chinatown.
-- Period of Transition 1920 - 1940
Although Singapore survived the war with relatively little physical damage, the social situation in terms of unemployment, overcrowding and lack of housing was serious...
Once the economy was in a more stable condition, the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) continued the start it had made before the war. In the years 1948-49, nine blocks of SIT flats were designed in Sago Street, Princep Street, and Tiong Bahru by A G Church and Lincoln Page, respectively....
New towns further away from the centre such as Queenstown were also constructed around 1952.
-- Modernism Takes Hold 1940 - 1970