Equatorial Utopia: 50 Years of Visionary Architecture in Singapore
Singapore has been the place of a number visionary projects that can be interpreted as ‘modernist utopian constructs’ for the building of the Nation
Singapore’s urban development has been fast paced over the past half century. After becoming an independent republic in 1965, the small island state with limited land and natural resources and a current population of approximately 5.6 million embarked rapidly on industrialization and urbanization programs to provide jobs and housing for its people. Ever since, the built and the natural environment have been high on Singapore’s agenda and its urban vision has evolved from a ‘Garden City’ to a ‘City in a Garden’ and now a ‘City in Nature’. In this context, Singapore has been the place of a number visionary projects that can be interpreted as ‘modernist utopian constructs’ for the building of the Nation.
Section – The Concourse. Photo Credit: G8 Architects
As part of the European Cultural Centre’s exhibition Time Space Existence, the co-curators – Maison de l’Architecture Genève, G8A Architecture & Urban Planning, and the Singapore-ETH Centre Future Cities Laboratory – show an excerpt of a large traveling exhibition that will be launched in full at Pavillon Sicli in Geneva, Switzerland.
Exhibition at Palazzo Bembo. Photo Credits: Federico Vespignani
Showcasing selected projects from 1970 to the present, Equatorial Utopia: 50 Years of Visionary Architecture in Singapore portrays how architecture and urban design in Singapore, often with strong Western influences, have been tempered, adapted, and transformed by the socio-cultural, economic, climatic and political conditions of the location. The projects selected for the exhibition demonstrate the utopian dimension of architecture and urban design in Singapore and have had significant impact on the discourse on the built environment in Southeast Asia and beyond.
Oasia Hotel Downtown, 2016, WOHA. Photo Credit: WOHA
People’s Park Complex, 1973, DP Architects. Photo Credits: MA, G8A, FCL
Punggol Waterway Terraces, 2015, G8A Architecture & Urban Planning + Aedas. Photo Credits: MA, G8A, FCL
The Concourse, 1994, Paul Rudolph + Architects 61. Photo Credit: MA, G8A, FCL
Golden Mile Complex, 1973, DP Architects. Photo Credit: MA, G8A, FCL
Kampung Admiralty, 2017, WOHA. Photo Credit: MA, G8A, FCL
The Maison de l’Architecture Genève, established in 2007, is a nonprofit organization with the mission to foster exchange about and reflection on the art of building. Every year, MA organizes thematic conferences and exhibitions on topics related to territory, urbanism, engineering and architecture. These events are open to other disciplines as well, with the aim of raising awareness and sensitizing the public on the larger discourse on the built environment.
G8A Architecture & Urban Planning is an architecture, urban planning and interior design company with offices in Geneva, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. From design principles established in Switzerland, then learning from the contrasting context of the East, the company has been able to strengthen their designs with projects in Asia for over a decade.
The Singapore-ETH Centre Future Cities Laboratory was established by ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Zurich and the National Research Foundation Singapore in collaboration with key academic partners including the Singapore University of Technology and Design in 2010 to study sustainable future cities through science, by design and in place.
Equatorial Utopia is kindly supported by the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Zurich, the Singapore Heritage Society, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the Singapore Institute of Architects and the Pavillon Sicli.
Watch the video trailer of the exhibition on G8 Architecture and Planning’s YouTube Channel.