Singapore DBS Building – A New Landmark on Shenton Way

Source: Architects Team 3. Accessed November 14, 2018.

The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) from 1969-1975 by the Architects Team 3 was one of the earliest redevelopment projects that completed in the Golden Shoe area. The tower then became a new landmark along the Shenton Way, a major road in the core of Singapore.

From the historic photo as shown above, the Central Area of Singapore at the time was still dominated with low-rise buildings and under poor conditions. However, the new tower of DBS Building created a huge contrast with the periphery. It became a strong identity of how Singapore would look like with new modernist buildings and high-rises. The location of the building also emphasized its prestigious position in the area. Apart from the fact that it is built along the Shenton Way as mentioned, the neighboring building also reinforced the idea of how Singapore would like to build a new national image as a strong economic power after the uncertain independence from Malaysia.

The building on the left edge of the photo is the Singapore Conference Hall and Trade Union House completed in 1965, which was constructed and completed amid of the drastic change of political sovereignty. It became a significant political powerhouse portrayed architecturally as the Conference Hall also symbolized the cooperation between political and economic parties as the main issue to deal with after independence. Meanwhile, on the right of the DBS Building is the Singapore Airlines Building that was completed in 1967, which was also an important building that housed the first-rate aviation corporation that Singapore has been proud of. Interestingly, all these buildings were designed by the same group of architects from Architects Team 3 (and the former Malayan Architects Co-Partnership), which showed the intricate relationship between Singapore and Malaysia in terms of political ideologies, yet the separation did not affect their effort in making breath-taking designs that devoted in modernizing Singapore into a regional power.


1 Comment on “Singapore DBS Building – A New Landmark on Shenton Way

  1. I agree that DBS Building has set a strong identity for future architectures in Singapore. The development of high rises in the neighbourhood has also shaped a new national image as an economically strong nation after the uncertain independence from Malaysia. With the rise of modernist architecture happening in different parts of the world, how does Singapore’s architecture stand out from other metropolitan cities’? Have architects/ urban planners done something to make people experience the essence of the local culture and the real taste of Singapore?

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