An intimate project, this publication arises out of an anxiety towards the fast-changing built landscape of Singapore. Its objective is to look at place, memory, and nostalgia through architecture, while attempting to understand the images of Singapore in the collective minds. How do we, as agents and recipients of the built environment, come together to decide the landscape that generations after our own will inherit? We have gone about assembling individual memories of architects and users who are both, in their own ways, image-makers of the city. The result is a collage of both the physical and the sensory coming together to inform something about a spirit of intersecting times.
In its most celebrative tone, the images and anecdotes in this book recognize what we have. Yet, this is not meant as an evasion of criticality. Instead, we encourage readers to take an unprejudiced look at this city we call Singapore, before searching for their own meaning of place. We see this publication as a tribute, as well as a reminder of the choices we make to strengthen our national identity. The publication features forty buildings in a diversity of styles that were built in different decades: shopping malls, offices, institutional spaces, public housing, and private residential developments. Theses featured buildings sit alongside two republished essays— by veteran architects William Lim and Alfred Wong respectively—and eight new interviews with architects and an architecture photographer based on their works in Singapore. Lastly, anecdotes on the ground from residents, tenants, shopkeepers, and security officers have been inserted throughout the pages of the publication to complete this collective gathering of voices.