Restored, rebuilt, renewed

FAR EAST SQUARE
FAR EAST SQUAREPHOTO: BT FILE
House No. 1
House No. 1PHOTO: ST FILE
Chek Jawa Visitor Centre
Chek Jawa Visitor CentrePHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE,
18-storey skyscraper
18-storey skyscraperPHOTO: URA
Ascott Singapore Raffles Place service apartment suites
Ascott Singapore Raffles Place service apartment suitesPHOTO: ASCOTT

Working with owners and architects, the Urban Redevelopment Authority has been developing ways to creatively adapt historic buildings for new uses. Melody Zaccheus takes a look at three conserved spaces given a new lease of life over the past two decades.

FAR EAST SQUARE

Conserved in 1997

A stretch of 61 rundown shophouses off Raffles Place in Telok Ayer was transformed in 1999 into a modern area for offices and a variety of food and beverage outlets. Historic buildings include the 191-year-old former Fuk Tak Chi temple- turned-museum. Telok Ayer Street was once a landing site for Chinese immigrants who arrived in Singapore by boat.

NO.1 PULAU UBIN

Conserved in 2003

Built in the 1930s, House No. 1 is situated on the eastern tip of Pulau Ubin, and was once the seaside cottage of British Chief Surveyor Langdon Williams. The Tudor-style house - made of brick, granite stone and timber - is the only house in Singapore with a working fireplace. It is now the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre. Restoration work began in 2005.

ASCOTT RAFFLES PLACE

Conserved in 2007

Once the tallest building in South-east Asia in the 1950s, this 18-storey skyscraper, completed in 1955, used to be the office of Asia Insurance Company. It now houses the Ascott Singapore Raffles Place service apartment suites.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Restored, rebuilt, renewed'. Print Edition | Subscribe