Standing tall and firm along North Bridge Road in the Downtown of Singapore, Parkview Square – a commercial building designed by James Adams Design and DP Architects – houses offices and embassies.
Opposite to the Raffles Hospital (private), Parkview Square is referred to as ‘Gotham City building‘ (of Batman) locally. The design is of the classic Art Deco style, which is characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation.
A friendly taxi driver uncle* shared with me in Chinese Mandarin, that he remembers the Parkview Square well because of the statues of bony men holding up heavy things. Can you see them in the picture above?
* We call men who are older than us ‘uncle’ in Singapore or Malaysia.
In his words, “they look very struggling, perhaps they represent Life.” He finished in accepting yet optimistic tone, “We struggle in lives.”
The lift from street level to the square level was locked. I took an escalator up without realizing that I would need to go down few steps of staircase. A Cantonese-accented lady in an elegant above-knee dress helped me to carry baby Ren and his pram down. I am grateful to my heroine of the day!
At the plaza before entering the building, a signature crane sculpture is ready to fly towards the direction of Mainland China. The graceful golden crane – a symbol of wealth bringer – is supported by a pedestal with a Chinese poem that goes
Yellow Crane Tower
In my old country once stood a Yellow Crane Tower
how many autumns have I gazed north, homewards?
A yellow crane spreads its wings to fly ten thousand miles
Alas! In the Lion City I see a Crane Tower!
This home-longing poem reminds us on a poem by Li Bai from the Tang Dynasty:
Sending Meng Haoran Off at Yellow Crane Tower to Yangzhou
My old friend bids farewell to me at Yellow Crane Tower,
he is going down to Yangzhou in the third month of spring misty blooms.
The image of his lonely sail fades into a jade-green void of sky;
now all I see is the mighty Yangztze River flowing to the horizon.
Note: Guanglin (广陵) is the classic name for Yangzhou (扬州).
Plato, Lincoln, Churchill, Sun Yat-Sen, Newton, Chopin, and Dali (standing tall in bronze statues) welcome everyone at the plaza. Physically dead yet spiritually alive in souls whom they have inspired over generations, I tried to introduce baby Ren to them but the noon sun was perhaps too strong for us.
Built at a cost of SGD$87.93 million and completed in 2002, rents of offices in Parkview Square (D07) cost tenants ~ SGD$8 psf (hence beyond 6 digits of monthly rents for a unit greater than 12,500 sqft / 1160 sqm) as of March 2014 (CommercialGuru).
The interior of the lobby is also opulently decorated in the classic Art Deco style like a Western palace.
Perhaps one day we would be able to have a sip of coffee or wine at the Divine Wine Extraordinaire bar of Divine Society but now I am inspired to re-visit the Art Nouveau works by Mucha.
Address: 600, North Bridge Road, 188778 Singapore.
From Bugis MRT, the fastest way to reach Parkview Square is through walking the side of Raffles Hospital.
Other travel posts that I love:
♥ Leonard Ng’s Yellow Crane Tower @ Rainy Blue Dawn
♥ Jotterboard’s visit to the Divine Wine Extraordinaire bar of Divine Society @ Parkview Square
♥ our #travelxp posts