The design takes on a contemporary interpretation of the Art Deco period, resulting in a quaint charm nostalgic of Singapore in the 1960s

Fronted by a row of restored heritage shophouses standing along Balestier Road, 1953 is a six-storey freehold mixed-use development, comprising 14 commercial strata units and 58 residential units. Its architecture seeks to achieve a dynamic relationship between modernity and polished antiquity, allowing residents to experience city living as well as the quaint nostalgic charm of 1960s Singapore.

The Old and the New

Responding to the essence of the neighbourhood, the project adopts the blueprint of the original shophouses, where merchants in the 1960s would set up their businesses on the ground level, and the family residence on the upper storey.

1953 conserves the existing façade of the shophouses and reassembles the detailing of the period. The new block takes on a fresh look with a humble dark-coloured palette, adding a contemporary layer and texture to the site’s narrative.

A staircase in one of the shophouses connects to the communal deck at the new block, where a large open-to-sky courtyard provides visual connection between the landscape deck with the public along the five-foot walkway. A continuous five-foot walkway is laid across the first storey to retain the characteristics of the shophouses. Setbacks are imposed at the back alley to be used as a rear service road to support commercial activities.

Minimising Disturbance

Given such a compact site and its location in a gazetted conservation area, the construction must abide by the restoration guidelines.

Challenges in the construction include  the A&A works to the existing shophouses as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) regulations require the preservation of the façade of existing shophouses along Balestier Road. Hence, only part of it is demolished and rebuilt. Minimising disturbance is also crucial to protect the existing structure from the construction activities, so micropiles are adopted for the new built structure to minimise vibration. 

Deep excavation of three levels of basement for the mechanical car park along Tessensohn Road may also induce disturbance. As the basement is encompassed by conservation shophouses and neighbouring buildings, deep excavation will cause tilt and crack to existing structures. The underlying soil of the proposed basement is a thick Marine Clay layer, which technically has no bearing capacity to support any structure. To overcome this, soil improvement works are undertaken to improve the soil condition during excavation, coupled with top-down construction with contiguous bored pile (CBP) in the GBW works.

Project Name: 1953
Location: 1 Tessensohn Road, Singapore
Status of Construction: Preliminary site works
Expected TOP Date: 2021 (targeted)
Site Area: 17,938 square feet
Gross Floor Area: 5398.68 square metres
Building Height: 6 storeys with attic; 23.97 metres
Number of Units: 14 Commercial Strata Units; 58 Residential Units
Developer: Oxley Amethyst Pte Ltd
Architecture Firm: Park + Associates Pte Ltd
Principal Architect (QP): Lim Koon Park
Senior Designers & Architects: Christina Thean; Yin Wing Yong
Interior Design Firm: 2nd Edition Pte Ltd
Principal Designer: Hillary Loh
Civil & Structural Engineer: KCL Consultants Pte Ltd
MEP Engineer: United Projects Consultants Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: JIA Quantity Surveyors & Project Managers Pte Ltd
Landscape Architect: Ecoplan Asia Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: CKR Contract Services Pte Ltd
Images: Oxley Amethyst Pte Ltd

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