The test of time
Singapore 16th June 2010
Driving back tonight through downtown Singapore I looked at the enormous change that the city night scape had undergone since the first time I set foot in this city state, more than 20 years ago. So many buildings from the time have gone and been replaced by new modern buildings, one brighter and louder than the other. I always felt that Singapore has little architectural character, with buildings of historical value and heritage being rare and mostly overshadowed by new sleek high rises. However some buildings have stood the test of time and are still standing tall. Further more Singapore has realized the importance to preserve its heritage and is now far more pro-active in protecting its architectural past.
In lighting we encounter the same. Many of our past projects don’t even exist anymore. They have gone and made way for new developments or renovations with new lighting. Most of the time our involvement in a projects stops after testing and commissioning, sometimes extending throughout the defects and liability period. We only see our past projects when we revisit them. Very little projects stand the test of time when it comes to lighting certainly in modern and commercial architecture in this part of the world.
So I was pleased to see some of my first lighting projects in Singapore, Orchard Park Suites, a serviced apartment tower right at the heart of Orchard Road, and Raffles Hotel in Beach Road, still standing tall in their original lighting design glory. Orchard Park Suites was one of the very first buildings with façade lighting in Orchard Road but is now surrounded by the latest commercial craze, Orchard Ion Mall, Singapore’s biggest shopping mall with a cacophony of lights and blaring LED media walls. The contrast could not be bigger. Good old floodlighting against dynamic color changing LED! But Orchard Park Suites has been a (lighting) landmark for nearly 20 years…let’s see in another 20years who will have stood the test of time….