Master Planning Singapore

From Bo Beh Kang to Queenstown

Loh Kah Seng Institute for East Asian Studies, Sogang University

In October 1956, J. M. Fraser, Chairman of the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), officiated the opening of the Forfar House. This was a zigzag-shaped slab of a housing block, with 106 3-room flats comprising modern kitchens, bathrooms and latrines, served by lifts. At 14 storeys high, Forfar House was then the tallest residential building in Singapore. Having taken 19 months to build, it now formed ‘the apex of the architectural massing of Princess Estate’, the pathbreaking first neighbourhood of the SIT’s maiden new town project in Queenstown.1 Fraser spoke grandly of how ‘[t]his is an important day for the Singapore Improvement Trust … [w]e are celebrating the completion of the first phase of the largest development which has yet been undertaken by the Trust’.

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