Tag: Design History

Capping Modern and Tradition: The “Revolutionary” Roof of the Singapore Indoor Stadium


Some have likened it to a traditional Japanese hat. Others see the outlines of a Star Destroyer spaceship from the futuristic movie Star Wars. Without a doubt, the roof of the Singapore Indoor Stadium is one of—if not, the most—distinguishing feature that has made it a familiar icon along the Kallang Basin today.

The design first arose almost forty years ago when Japanese architect Professor Kenzo Tange was appointed by the Singapore government to partner Singapore-based RSP Architects Planners & Engineers to help develop an indoor stadium in 1985. He and his team, including Yasuhiro Ishino and Paul Tange, his son, set about coming with a building that would blend in with its waterfront location then shared with the former National Stadium and other attractions such as the Wonderland Amusement Park and the Oasis Theatre Restaurant Niteclub and Cabaret.

➜ Read the full essay in DOCOMOMO Singapore

Drawing Out Architecture

They define the shape of a city. They contain its people and their multitudes of lives too. Buildings are the ubiquitous fabric of our urban condition, yet they somehow remain in the background of the minds of many city dwellers.

Perhaps it is their towering silhouettes that overshadow questions of how they came about. Or their immutable forms that make them seem like a natural phenomenon. But no building is simply a heap of materials, be it stone, concrete, steel or glass. They are assemblies of intentions, resources and beliefs—expressed in a language known as “architecture”.

Architecture may not be able to speak for itself, but the people who created it can. This is how I learned about the buildings by W Architects. As the editor of this exhibition catalogue and the studio’s first-ever monograph published in 2020, I have been privileged to spend hours listening to managing director Mok Wei Wei as he patiently walked me through four decades of the studio’s projects. These recollections at W Architects were frequently interrupted by an excuse to retrieve a drawing, a document, a magazine or newspaper cut-out and even a book from his office to vividly bring home a point.

➜ Read the full essay in To Draw an Idea: Retracing the Designs of William Lim Associates – W Architects

Hawker Colours: Melamine Tableware in Singapore

They refer not to the green of chendol or the red of mee goreng, but the riot of colourful plates and bowls that many hawker dishes in Singapore are served in today. Red, green, yellow, purple, pink, and more! These tableware defy conventional aesthetic sensibilities and even colour psychology, but have become entrenched in our local hawker culture. Should tableware colours be considered as part of Singapore’s UNESCO-inscribed hawker culture? Do consumers associate their favourite hawker dishes with particular colours? Learn more and participate in our survey at: www.hawkercolours.com (mobile only).

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