Resembling a typewriter from a bird's eye view, the 16-storey terraced Brutalist building was once hailed an architectural and cultural marvel, especially in the 1970s when the architectural style made waves around the world. Over the years, and a lot of paint coats later, its future is still uncertain. Still, take the chance to check out this monolith, and then get a plate of pad thai from one of its many Thai eateries after.
Call it unconventionally beautiful or downright ugly – Brutalist buildings played a major role in the rise of post-war modernism in Singapore. The madcap style of béton brut (‘raw concrete’ in French) made waves in the 1970s, giving rise to prominent landmarks such as the Golden Mile Complex and People’s Park Complex. While some praise these architectural masterpieces, others see them as concrete eyesores, especially among the glass and steel skyscrapers that dominate the city skyline.
Recently, the iconic Golden Mile Complex has been gazetted as a conserved building. That's a massive reason to celebrate, especially with the slew of demolitions of old-school architecture in Singapore over the past few years. Pearl Bank Apartments was demolished last year to make way for a 39-storey condominium. And sadly, more brutalist buildings will follow suit as they are on the verge of being sold to private developers. With only a handful of them still standing, here’s your chance to see them before they’re all gone.