Under threat: Pearl Bank Apartments
By Tan Cheng Siong, Singapore, 1976

Docomomo International wishes to draw your attention to the alarming future of the Pearl Bank Apartments, a high-rise private residential building in Singapore that is also a landmark of so-called Brutalist architecture.

Completed in 1976, the Pearl Bank Apartments, designed by Singaporean architect Tan Cheng Siong, are an iconic horseshoe shaped residential block with 272-unit apartment, comprising three types of split-level units. The units are a mix of sizes to prevent the development being colonized by one type of resident. Its cylindrical shape allows for daylight, ventilation and maximum panoramic views to all units. There is a shopping area with seven units on the first story. The twenty-eighth story was given over to the community.

On February 2018, the Pearl Bank Apartments were sold en bloc in a collective sale. It is now under threat of a massive transformation, even if the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), national urban planning authority of Singapore, had previously agreed that there were merits to conserving the apartments, as it has been one of the pioneering high-rise residential projects of Singapore.

Conservation efforts were spearheaded by architects, the owners, heritage lovers as well as students to preserve the Pearl Bank Apartments for its high architectural and historical significance and value. However, there is no conservation mentioned in the collective sale agreement. The actual owner plans to redevelop the site into a high-rise project of around 800 units.

Docomomo International would like to raise urgent awareness to this case and express its full support to all the initiatives conducted in order to preserve the Pearl Bank building for future generations.

You can find more details about this case in the following articles: website website.

For more information about the Pearl Bank Apartments, please visit: website.

You can see a photo essay about the building in website

Image: Bob T, via WikiMedia, October 2018.