Reshaping Singapore – 2

Reflections at Keppel Bay
, Reshaping Singapore – 2
More opulence for the rich to indulge in, and for peasants on the ground to gawk at. Reflections at Keppel Bay, a mega luxury condo project by Keppel Homes, is designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind, best known as the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center. Liebskind’s iconic forms of undulating towers of alternating heights are set to change the skyline of the city’s southern waterfront. Together with nearby VivoCity, Marina at Keppel Bay, the iconic Keppel Bay Bridge and Resorts World Sentosa, Reflections has sparked a rejuvenation of sorts in the previously underdeveloped Telok Blangah/Mt. Faber/Keppel area. With prices for each of Reflection’s units going for up to $2,000 per sq. ft., it will be one of the most expensive homes in the city.
Where: Keppel Bay
How Much? $1 billion
When? 2013
Worthiness: **
Verdict: Yet another overpriced condo project targeted at the nouveau rich (yawn). Still, the awesome design should be a sight to behold.
Singapore University of Technology & Design
, Reshaping Singapore – 2
Singapore does hubs like nowhere else: arts hub, IT hub, sports hub. And, when the new Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) open its doors in three years time, our city can add “education hub” to its lion’s mane. The nine-hectare SUTD, the city’s fourth university, will collaborate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and China’s Zhejiang University, and offer four specializations: Architecture and sustainable design, engineering product development, engineering systems and design, and information systems technology and design. Amsterdam-based practice UNstudio together with local firm DP Architects designed SUTD, drawing inspiration from the school’s cross-disciplinary approach to their curriculum, conceived an overlapping network of vistas and thoroughfares connecting four blocks.
Where: Upper Changi
How Much? They won’t say
When? 2014
Worthiness: ***
Verdict: The whole project sounds promising given the fact that its disciplines revolve around creative technical research and education anchored in design—something lacking in the varsities here. That said, its inaccessible location in Changi might turn off quite a few wannabe technical hopefuls.
Capitol Theatre Project
, Reshaping Singapore – 2
Finally, after years in limbo, one of Singapore’s landmarks will receive a swanky revamp set to turn the building into something that may surpass even its former glory. The iconic neo-classical structure built in 1929 by the Namazie brothers will be given a makeover by renowned architect Richard Meier, who designed the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and Camden Medical Centre off Tanglin Road. A 15-story development with shops, eateries and apartments will rise above the site’s conservation heritage buildings—Stamford House, Capitol Building and Capitol Theatre—while Capitol Centre will be demolished. In the place of Capitol Centre, a new luxury residential podium will be set above a four-storey shopping mall. Thirty million dollars of the projected cost will be set aside to conserve Capitol Theatre. “The theater will act as a catalyst to inject life and energy into the development and we need to leverage on that,” says Pua Seck Guan, chief executive of Perennial Real Estate, one half of the project’s winning consortium.
Where: Stamford Road
How Much? $750 million
When? 2014
Worthiness: *****
Verdict: Definitely two thumbs up as we’re confident that someone of Richard Meier’s caliber can do justice to the languishing landmark, which has been home to second-rate retail shops for as long as we can remember.
The North-South Expressway
Motorists living up north, your peak hour traffic jam woes may soon be a thing of the past (if by soon, you mean 2020). You will be able to zip down from Woodlands, Sembawang and Ang Mo Kio to the city in a breeze (provided there aren’t more cars by then) on the new North South Expressway. But to get this project off the ground, the government will have to acquire some 40 lots and over 30 partial lots of land, meaning those of you unfortunate enough to be in that space will have to up and move. Work on the new expressway, which runs parallel to the CTE and will connect to existing expressways such as the Seletar Expressway, is expected to begin in 2013. The new expressway should cut travelling time from Woodlands to the city by 30 per cent during peak hours.
Where: From Woodlands through Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Toa Payoh to the city.
How Much? $7-8 billion
When? 2020
Worthiness: ***
Verdict: Anything that eases traffic congestion is certainly a good thing. Let’s just hope that all the construction work that goes into it won’t affect the already unbearable peak-hour traffic jams in the north.