An ode to Pearl Bank Apartments: Iconic building to be digitally archived before redevelopment

Screengrab from video
Screengrab from video

Now that residents have completely moved out of Pearl Bank Apartments (while leaving behind their rubbish and discarded home wares), the end is near for Singapore’s iconic horse-shoe shaped building, which has been around since 1976.

Watch: Coconuts TV‘s documentary on Pearl Bank Apartments


But if you fear all history and heritage will be lost when the structure gets redeveloped, CapitaLand will have you know that it spent three months documenting the local landmark. In a press release yesterday, the real estate company said it had recorded drone scans of the external façade, 3D laser scans of differing apartment types and common areas, and images and videos of Pearl Bank.

Data collected were subsequently processed in point clouds using photogrammetry technology and converted into 3D models.

To keep the buzz going, CapitaLand is hosting a guided photowalk for selected Instagrammers tomorrow afternoon, to allow photography enthusiasts, history buffs, and micro-influencers a chance to get snap happy while the 38-story building still stands tall. But if you didn’t get picked, you can always view the action from afar by following @onepearlbank or scrolling through the hashtag #OnePearlBank on Instagram.

For now though, take a look at various angles and perspectives of the Chinatown icon from social media shots and reminisce below.


View this post on Instagram


Last Light Pearl Bank Apartments, Singapore 1976 – 2019 Today – the 30th of April 2019 – is the last day of occupation for residents at Pearl Bank Apartments, following its sale to CapitaLand for S$728 million. Being one of the many buildings which have been sold to private developers through the collective sales programme, it will be hoarded up and demolished, bringing to an end an important chapter of Singapore’s modernist architecture. Completed in 1976 and designed by Tan Cheng Siong of Archurban Architects Planners, Pearl Bank was – for a very long time – a role model and pioneer for urban highrise residential architecture in the Southeast Asian region. Being a prime example of modernism (brutalism before its paint job), it is not your typical steel-and-glass edifice. Some label it as ‘ugly’ and an ‘eyesore’. But it belonged to a period or time where innovation and creativity were pivotal to architecture and design. It was bold. It was unorthodox. Most importantly, it rejected the notion of conventional kitsch for unpretentious honesty. And it is a pity that this spirit of dare and breakthrough would be somewhat diminished from today on. CapitaLand plans to redevelop the site into a high-rise tower comprising 800 units, so there is little to no chance that Pearl Bank will be conserved or integrated into the redevelopent. Nevertheless, the new development has a big gap to fill, and Singapore’s skyline will never be the same again. Farewell, Pearl Bank. (1/3 of Pearl Bank photo series) Sony a7R III | Canon 17mm TS-E 3-Frame Panorama Date taken: 28 April 2019 #singapore #architecture #cityscape #sgig #instasg #landscapesg #landscape #topsgshots #thisissingapore #sonysingapore #heysonysg #sonyalpha #bealpha #fullframefullon #sonya7riii #canon17tse #madaboutsingapore2019 #madaboutsingapore2019youth #hesimphotography #pearlbankapartments #pearlbank #brutalism #modernism #onepearlbank @kilogrammerz @whatissingapore @sgarchitecture @sgig @sgshots @iluvsg @sonysingapore @sonyalpha @visit_singapore @skyscraping_architecture @singaporetoday @go.singapore @tv_pointofview @1_unlimited @tv_leadinglines @sonysdwsg

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