Dr. Liu Thai Ker, who is as well known for his involvement with and contribution to the arts as he is an architect, was the second recipient of the SIA Gold Medal. He is recognised for his leadership qualities providing direction for, and enhancement of the prestige of the architectural profession, and in so doing has come to serve as a role model for younger architects to emulate.
Dr. Liu played an active role in the formulation of the HDB new town model, and it was noted that during his tenure with HDB there was “a notable uplifting of standards in the planning and design of HDB estates, advancement in building and construction technology, sound construction details and workmanship quality.” He further made adjustments from the 1972 to the 1992 URA Concept Plan that included formulating a methodology to prepare DGP (Development Guide Plans) clarifying regulations, speeding up the approval process and consolidating the conservation guidelines and gazetted building list. His involvement with the Institute, the Board of Architects and numerous other committees also testify to his continued commitment to his profession.
An equally dedicated commitment to education is evident through Dr. Liu’s long involvement with the NUS School of Architecture. He served on the Advisory Committee of the School between 1981 and 2000, and the now restructured School of Design and Environment. In this capacity he has played a key role in the curriculum development for architectural education in Singapore. Since 2000 Dr. Liu has taught as an adjunct professor at the School. Indeed, his dedication to architectural education has taken him beyond Singapore as Visiting Fellow to Tongji University in Shanghai, and he is also a member of the Architecture Academy Advisory Committee for the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Dr. Liu’s involvement with the community through the arts is almost legendary. He is perhaps best known for his leadership and advisory roles with the National Heritage Board and the National Arts Council. He also played key roles with museums and other arts and community organisations.