Follow the Journey
"Temasek" (Singapore River) - An Important and Busy Port
Due to its prime position along trade routes through South East Asia, Singapore (or Temasek, as it was previously known) was a long-time centre for trade and commerce. The lower reaches of the Singapore River served as a river-port and gateway economy for the international trade of precious cargo such as ceramics, lacquer wood, spices and more. By the early 17th century however, regional contestations for dominance of the Straits as well as its trade revenues had repeatedly destroyed Singapore’s main port and settlement, causing it to lose its importance.
Coleman Bridge built
Coleman Bridge was the second bridge built over the Singapore River. Alternatively known as New Bridge, it was designed by and named after George Drumgoole Coleman, an Irish civil architect who played an instrumental role in building early Singapore. Coleman Bridge has seen several iterations since its first brick version, including a timbre version (a.k.a. Canning Bridge, 1862 to 1883), an iron rendition (1886 to 1986)— considered one of the most attractive in Singapore—and its present-day reinforced concrete form which retains many of its predecessors' decorative features.
Merlion unveiled at the mouth of
In 1969, Singapore’s post-independence Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, called for the clean-up of the polluted Singapore River as part of the nation’s urban redevelopment plan. It was a massive and challenging decade long undertaking, and heralding the new age was Singapore’s now-iconic mascot - the Merlion.
First unveiled at the mouth of the river in 1972, the statue was a symbol designed by Alec Fraser-Bruner, a member of the Singapore Tourism Board, and sculpted from concrete fondue, ceramic plates and small red teacups by the late Singaporean artist, Lim Nang Seng.
Officially opened in 2008, the giant observational wheel stands at 165 metres and was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until 2014. Featuring 28 air-conditioned capsules designed to accommodate 28 passengers each, the wheel is in constant rotation with a round trip lasting approximately 32 minutes.
Showcasing 360-degree panoramic views of the Singapore skyline and neighbouring countries, the rotational direction of the wheel was notably reversed late into construction, at a six-figure sum cost, following advice from geomancers.
ArtScience Museum of Singapore
The world’s first ArtScience museum was designed by Israeli-Canadian architect, Moshe Safdie. Created to explore the space where art, science, culture and technology come together, it hosts international exhibits from renowned museums and galleries world-wide.
The building is reminiscent of an abstract lotus flower, featuring a round, cylindrical base with 10 ‘finger’ protrusions, with skylights at their tips to naturally illuminate the curved interiors. Rainwater is channeled down the centre of its bowl-shaped roof into a reflecting pond at its lowest level, and recycled in the building’s restrooms.