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Singapore Marina Development

Courtesy of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Courtesy of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Pei’s significant involvement in Singapore stemmed from his father’s reputation as a banker. Following the country’s independence in 1965, prominent bankers and family friends called on Pei to design landmark buildings, first Chung Khiaw Bank, then OCBC. As Singapore engaged in ambitious nation-building programs, the government called on Pei to do huge projects like Raffles International Center, involving planning, urban design, and ultimately architecture. It was the kind of work that, after twelve years with New York developer William Zeckendorf, Pei was singularly equipped to undertake.

The development of Marina South was one such project: master planning the phased development of 94 acres of land newly reclaimed from the sea. The master plan focused on three key objectives: to envision the creation and expansion of a new city center; to identify and reserve strategic sites in the reclaimed peninsula for important buildings; to propose a framework for phased implementation whereby urban activities and open spaces would harmoniously blend with the new and existing city and its defining waterside. A critical contribution of the master plan focused on the inboard side of the coastal highway where limited land mass in the existing city was inadequate to support the number and density of streets required for a vibrant, and growing, urban core.

Many of the recommendations in the master plan were ultimately implemented.

Planning Team: I.M. Pei, Partner; August Nakagawa, Kellogg Wong, others
I.M. Pei & Partners