Recognising quality restoration projects and celebrating our built heritage

Published Date: 31 Oct 2017
Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority Website

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has conferred the Architectural Heritage Awards (AHA) on two winners at the awards ceremony today, for the high standard of restoration work done to the heritage buildings. Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee officiated at the ceremony and presented the prizes to the winners.

AHA 2017 winners
The winning projects are:

Award for Restoration
“A” Queen Street, R.C. Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
The oldest Catholic Church in Singapore has been delicately restored and has successfully rejuvenated its role within the community. Today, it is a sanctuary that welcomes people from all walks of life to learn about the Cathedral’s history.

Award for Restoration and Innovation
320 Havelock Road, The Warehouse Hotel
Thoughtful restoration and sensitive integration of the old and new have helped to safeguard the heritage value of the warehouse while adapting to its new use as a hotel. Through subtle touches in the interior design and hotel collaterals, the building remains reminiscent of its industrial past.

Special Mention
75 East Coast Road, Red House has received a ‘Special Mention’ for its efforts to capture the intangible heritage of the building through its use as a local café to retain a familiar social memory of the community landmark.

The winners for AHA 2017 have gone the extra mile beyond excellent restoration of their buildings. The teams behind the projects have put in the extra efforts to delve into the research of the buildings’ history and stories behind them. In addition, these heritage buildings are kept alive through different storytelling methods, such as onsite storyboards, publications, collaterals and even a heritage gallery. The teams managed to capture the value of buildings’ past and make them relevant to the wider public in the modern context.

The Awards recognise the teams behind good restoration projects – committed owners, insightful developers, dedicated architects, resourceful engineers, sensitive contractors and conservation specialists. They exemplify the highest standards within the conservation movement and have gone beyond what is required to sensitively restore their heritage buildings for continued use.

Into the 23rd year, the annual Awards aim to promote public awareness and appreciation of quality restoration of National Monuments and conserved buildings in Singapore.

With the addition of the two winners, there are now a total of 130 projects that have received the Awards.

Please refer to Annex A [PDF, 440kb] for detailed write-ups of the projects, Annex B [PDF, 275kb] for the jury’s citations and Annex C [PDF, 125kb] for details on the AHA scheme.

Partnering the community to raise awareness of our built heritage

The industry and community play an important role in raising public awareness of the importance of our built heritage. In conjunction with AHA 2017, a month-long programme – called the Architectural Heritage Season – has been lined up with the support of our community partners to celebrate our well restored buildings, provide knowledge sharing for the professionals, and to grow appreciation and awareness among Singaporeans about our built heritage.

Throughout the month of November, professional architects will lead technical tours to share on restoration best practices of heritage buildings. The community such as docents and student guides will conduct public tours to share about the history and stories about our built heritage. A series of seminars has also been lined up with speakers from the academia and industry to share their experience and knowledge.

To raise awareness among the younger population, URA has worked with students from Teck Whye Primary School to publish two storybooks centred on the Joo Chiat neighbourhood. These storybooks are given to students in the school and neighbouring kindergartens to introduce the history of the area. A book reading will be done by the students at Marine Parade Public Library. Those interested to learn more about Joo Chiat’s history can sign up for the book reading which will take place on 19 November.

In addition, URA has also been collaborating with the students of NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for the past three years. Through producing short films on our heritage buildings, these students gain a better understanding of our heritage, document the stories they learn and share them with the wider community. These films are available for public viewing on the URA Youtubechannel. Through these films, the public can learn more about the history behind these heritage buildings and gain a deeper appreciation for them.

Please refer to Annex D [PDF, 136kb] for the details on the programmes for Architectural Heritage Season and register for the programmes at http://uraconservation.eventbrite.com/. #AHASG #AHASG17


Speech by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, at the URA Architectural Heritage Awards 2017 at Cathedral of the Good Shepherd