Jurong Town Hall played an important role in Singapore's history

Jurong Town Hall, which became the first conserved building to be gazetted a national monument, was once the headquarters for the Jurong Town Corporation, which was formed in 1968 to develop Jurong. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Jurong Town Hall, which became the first conserved building to be gazetted a national monument, was once the headquarters for the Jurong Town Corporation, which was formed in 1968 to develop Jurong. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Jurong Town Hall, which became the first conserved building to be gazetted a national monument on Monday (June 1), is an important architectural and historical symbol.

It was once the headquarters for the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), which was formed in 1968 to develop Jurong.

The corporation carried out former Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee's vision of developing Jurong into a thriving industrial estate and a self-contained satellite town.

Besides developing Jurong's industrial infrastructure, JTC also enhanced the quality of life of residents by building homes, recreational facilities, and a public transport network.

JTC moved into the hall in 1974. Located on a hill overlooking the Jurong estate, the modernist building was officially opened by former Minister of Finance Hon Sui Sen on June 2, 1975.

Jurong Town Hall was built based on a winning entry by local firm Architects Team 3 in an architectural design competition.

It features two elongated parallel blocks of unequal length connected by bridges. The building is modelled after a ship, with a 50m high digital clock tower serving as the "mast". The use of reinforced concrete and its modular form emphasised its industrial character.

Although JTC relocated to its new headquarters at the JTC Summit in 2000, Jurong Town Hall continues to play a role in the economic development of Singapore. In March this year, JTC announced that the Jurong Town Hall will house the new Trade Association Hub which is slated to open in early 2017.

The hall is the 69th national monument. Other buildings which have been awarded this status include Cathay Building, Macdonald House and City Hall.

ameltan@sph.com.sg