Singapore 23rd June 2011
History is a great part of any countries culture and very often also a starting block for conceptual design in general. As lighting designers we get cues from history such as shaps, forms, patterns as well as long cultural habits in the use of light. In the past I have been involved as the lighting designer for such historic buildings like the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, but also more cultural edifices like the Sri Mariaman Temple, at the time I did the lighting design about 165 years old.
We learn from the past and need to treat the past, our history, with respect. Many new world countries have been developing their economies at break neck speed, destroying their historic heritage in the process. It is therefore ebcouraging to see that more and more countries, Singapore and China included, are taking steps to include their past history as an imprtant element of future developments.
By the end of this month the one and only railway linking Singapore and Malaysia will be closed for good. The historic line owned by Malaysia is thought to occupy too valuable land and its main station, Tanjong Pagar in down town Singapore stands on prime land. The station will be relocated to Woodlands near the Malaysian border and the land of the railway line redevelopped. But what triggered my thoughts today is that the old railway stations like Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah will be inculded in a redevelopment and heritage plans aimed at conserving the history of the rail line. The buildings architecture is typical for the period it was build in and you can still find elements including lighting that represents he flavour of the past.
In Light Watch pictures of the historic Tanjong Pagar railway station, a Ssingapore landmark building that hopefully will find a new lease of life after its redevelopment without loosing too much of its historic past.