After a 15-month spruce-up, the gleaming pair of golden domes on top of the Sultan Mosque stand out regally from the surrounding Kampong Glam neighbourhood.
The $4.6 million makeover also involved original timber doors and windows being salvaged and repaired, as well as arches inside the prayer hall being painted green to accentuate their dramatic curves.
Elderly- and disabled-friendly amenities such as new lifts and a wheelchair ramp were also added to both the prayer hall and the annex building next to it.
The mosque won the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Architectural Heritage Award yesterday - one of four winners at the event - for its efforts in restoring and improving the national monument.
In its 22nd year, the awards are handed out to people - building owners, architects, engineers, contractors and conservation specialists - deemed by the URA to have made "conservation happen" for monuments and buildings with preservation and conservation status here.
The award, said Mr Mohamed Patail, chairman of the board of trustees and mosque management board, is testimony of Sultan Mosque's status as an iconic monument. "This will elevate its presence not only in Singapore, but also on the world stage," he said.
The Muscat Street mosque won in the restoration category, which honours sensitive and careful restoration work on heritage buildings.
Other winners in the category were the Goh Loo Club, a shophouse in Club Street - a gathering spot for the local Chinese community since 1905 - and the Roman Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Queen Street. The club was commended for retaining old materials such as dark-green balustrades; the church was held up for its delicately restored Gothic-style architecture.
Capitol Singapore in Stamford Road, a site on which three conservation buildings - Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House - sit, was the only winner in the restoration and innovation category. Its design and construction team won for its restoration efforts, as well as for successfully weaving the new four-storey Capitol Piazza-Neue into the site.
South Beach, a mixed-used development in Beach Road, received special mention for work done on its four conservation buildings, including the former Non-Commissioned Officers' Club.
Mrs Teh Lai Yip, the URA's senior director for conservation, said the quality of submissions improves yearly as participants "use the past winners as a benchmark". This year, nine projects were submitted and judged by a 13-member committee, including senior government representatives, academics and the Singapore Heritage Society. To date, 128 projects have won awards.
Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee presented the awards yesterday at the Capitol Piazza. The public can view an exhibition of the winning projects at The URA Centre in Maxwell Road from today until Nov 30.
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