Preserving Singapore’s Architectural History

Amid the continued rejuvenation of Singapore’s Beach Road corridor with new flashy developments such as South Beach, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has received a proposal looking at the conservation of the iconic Golden Mile Complex. Completed in 1973 at a cost of $18 million, Golden Mile Complex features the now famous step-terraces and has been a landmark to many Singaporeans when travelling along Nicoll Highway.

Earlier in August, over 80 percent of the property’s owners signed a collective sale agreement, pushing to sell off the prime real estate to interested buyers with a reserve price of S$800 million. News of the collective sales of Golden Mile Complex and collective sale attempts of other post-independence buildings such as People’s Park Complex, People’s Park Centre, Golden Mile Tower and Pearl Centre have gotten the attention of non-government organisations (NGOs) such as the Singapore Heritage Society and other members of the architectural and heritage community. An application has now been submitted to retain the existing 16-storey Golden Mile Complex and also to add a new block next to the building. DP Architects (formerly known as Design Partnership), who originally designed Golden Mile Complex in the 1960s, has been appointed by the collective sale committee as consultant architect for the development.

Golden Mile Complex became known as “Little Thailand” in the 1980s because large number of Thai nationals working in Singapore, especially in the construction industry, would gather there to meet with friends and fellow countrymen. As such, there are many shops and restaurants which sold food and other items that are targeted at people from Thailand.