Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lack of Colour....Not

Seen at Hill Street, the MICA (Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Arts):

This building, also known as the OHSPS (Old Hill Street Police Station), was erected in 1934 which upon completion, was then regarded as the largest government building and a modern skyscraper. It housed the Hill Street Police Station (hence the name) and living quarters for policemen and their families. This was Singapore's first jail.

At the time of the japanese occupation, it was used by the Kempeitai as a holding area (and torture chamber, some say) for prisoners. After the occupation, it was reverted to being a police station where the Arms and Explosives Unit of the Police Department operated (1949-1981).

In the 1960's, government housing provided accommodation of the police staff and they gradually moved out, the last occupant leaving in 1979. The station was closed and renovated therreafter and was renamed Hill Street Building in 1983, then housing several government offices.

The building was gazetted a national monument in 1998, and was regarded as one of Singapore's 100 Historic Places.

It is now also known as the MICA (Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Arts), and it houses the National Arts Council, the National Heritage Board, the Media/Infocomm Development Authority, and Singapore Kindness Movement.

And just so you know, the building has a total of 911 windows with colourful shutters.

Some useful links:

The MICA website: http://app.mica.gov.sg

The ARTrium @ MICA website: http://www.artriumatmica.com

The ARTrium was established in 1991, functions as an art space/gallery for visual arts exhibitions and performaing arts events. It was converted from the courtyard os the OHSPS, the former police parade ground.

[* Well, That's My World!, what about yours?]


Pat said...

What a beautiful old building. I'm glad it now houses, among other things, the
Singapore Kindness Movement instead of a torture room.

I love the brightly colored shutters.

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of windows. It's a brilliant photo and such a cheerful and unusual building.

Snowcatcher said...

Initially I thought you might have photoshopped in the color. What an amazing building and interesting history!

Sara Chapman said...

I love the extremely creative use of color on this building. Just wonderful. Thanks for the bit of history also.