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SINGAPORE: Five restoration projects have been awarded the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Architectural Heritage Award this year.
They include The Sultan hotel, NUS’ Bukit Timah Campus and Space Asia Hub.
They were selected for their exceptional and innovative work in heritage conservation.
Visitors to The Sultan hotel along Jalan Sultan are treated to a trip back in time to Singapore’s colonial era.
Mr Tan Kay Ngee, architect, Kay Ngee Tan Architects, said: "You’re putting together a very old jigsaw puzzle. Not only you can find colonial architectural influence in the building, you can also (find)... Chinese and Malay influences on some of the decorations, and also some of the motifs."
Mr Tan said the motifs contain interesting stories.
"One of (the motifs) is shaped like a pineapple... (For the Chinese), it symbolises fortune. If you look back to 18th century English architecture, (the) pineapple symbolises (a) welcome to very special guests," he said.
Similar features are also exquisitely restored in the Space Asia Hub. The pre—war bakery is now a furniture showroom at Bencoolen Street.
History is melded seamlessly into the present, with its modern glass walls capturing a poignant reflection of yesteryear.
Mr Chan Ee Mun, architect, WOHA Architects Pte Ltd, said: "Restoration projects, conserved buildings, or heritage buildings are important for us to maintain some form of memory of our past. What we tried to do was to restore the buildings such that each of them are distinct. They have their own unique features."
Once dilapidated and crumbling, the structures have been given a new lease of life and now add to the rich history and cultural heritage of modern Singapore.