(Images and illustrations may be available when you place your cursor over the record title.)
First Government House
Sir Stamford Raffles’ first residence on Bukit Larangan (now Fort Canning Hill) was designed by George D Coleman immediately after his arrival in Singapore. Completed in 1823, it was mostly made of timber and had a 100-ft frontage and a 50-ft depth. Called the Government House it was handled over to the army for reconstruction when the Governor moved to a house near Oxley Road in 1859.
First Post Office
The first post office was started in 1827 in a room at the front of John Argyll Maxwell’s house (now Old Parliament House). By 1843, it expanded to a small building behind the house.
On 12 Sep 1840, 2LT Charles Morgan Elliot of the Madras Engineers established a ‘magnetic observatory’ of wood and granite with an attap roof at the bend of the Kallang River for the purpose of tide, rainfall and temperature reading. The observatory was later moved to Fort Fullerton at the mouth of the Singapore River.
The Telok Ayer Market, built in the 1820s, is Singapore’s first market building. It was later rebuilt in the distinctive octagon shape with cast iron imported from Glasgow. The second building was completed in 1894.
Horsburgh Lighthouse is located on Pedra Branca island, 46 km east of Changi Point, at the eastern entrance to the Singapore Straits. It was built in 1851 and named after Captain James Horsburgh, a British hydrographer and navigator, who mapped many seaways around Singapore.
Johnston Pier was erected in 1854 and named after one of the first businessmen and a founder of the Chamber of Commerce, Alexander Laurie Johnston, a friend of Sir Stamford Raffles. Shortly after the adjacent Clifford Pier was completed, Johnston Pier was dismantled in Jul 1933.
Oldest Colonial Building
The Old Parliament House was once known as the Old Court House. It was originally designed as a house for John Argyll Maxwell, a merchant and one of first three magistrates whom Sir Stamford Raffles appointed. It was designed by George Coleman. As soon as it was completed in 1827, it was leased to the government by Maxwell and then used as a courthouse and government offices. Parliament meetings were held in the building until the new Parliament House was built nearby. It is now refurbished as The Arts House.
Largest Pre-War Government Building
Upon its completion in 1934, the Old Hill Street Police Station designed by Dorrington Ward, was the largest pre-war government building in Singapore. It was regarded as a modern skyscraper and had electric lifts fitted during 1933. The building has a total of 911 windows and is currently known as MICA Building.
Last Colonial Classical Building
In 1939, the Supreme Court was the last colonial classical building to be built in Singapore. Above the entrance of the building, the stately sculpture of Justice wields her scales and there is a frieze of the historic signing of the 1819 treaty between Sir Stamford Raffles and Sultan Hussein, which established Singapore as a trading post.
First Court House And First Hotel
The Supreme Court was the first court in Singapore, built between 1937 and 1939. It occupied the site of the former Hotel de L’Europe, the first hotel in Singapore. The hotel opened in 1857 and Raffles Hotel later became its keen rival. The site was taken over for the Supreme Court building in 1934 when the hotel closed due to bankruptcy.
First National Theatre
The first National Theatre was built in 1963, as a result of an architectural competition, to commemorate Singapore’s self-government in 1959. It was then the largest theatre in Singapore, with a capacity of 3,420 seats. It was demolished in 1986.
The over 100-acre land on which the Istana stands was first bought by Governor Harry Ord, for his Government House in 1869, from Charles Robert Prinsep who owned the nutmeg plantation on the land. The Istana is the official residence of the President.
In 1824, after signing the treaty that ceded Singapore to the British, Sultan Hussein Shah was given around 23 ha of land. The first Istana Kampong Gelam was believed to be a wooden structure built on stilts around 1829. In 1835 Sultan Hussein’s son, Sultan Ali, commissioned a new palace to be designed in the Palladian style which had been introduced by the British. The palace grounds extended all the way from Victoria Street to Beach Road with a beach front.
First Public Swimming Pool
Mt Emily Swimming Complex, opened sometime in the 1930s, was the very first public swimming pool. It was converted from an old reservoir, which supplied water to Kandang Kerbau Hospital. The swimming complex was demolished in 1983.
Oldest Public Swimming Pool
The Queenstown Swimming Complex, which opened in 1970, is the oldest public swimming pool still in operation.
First Car Factory
In 1941, Ford Motor Works built the first motor car assembly plant in South-East Asia. It became the headquarters of the Japanese occupation and was the site of the historic surrender of the British to the Japanese on 15 Feb 1942. The building has been gazetted as a national monument, and converted into a World War II exhibition gallery and repository named Memories at Old Ford Factory.
Largest Conservation Centre
The Heritage Conservation Centre, a four-storey building on Jurong Port Road, houses over 100,000 artworks and artefacts for the Asian Civilisation Museum, the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum. Among these are 7,500 sculptures, installation works and paintings considered as Singapore’s national art collection. The facility, specially built for the storage and conservation of artefacts, is the first of its kind in South-East Asia.
Largest Underground Storage Space
The Underground Ammunition Facility at the Mandai Quarry was developed and managed by DSTA. It has about 300 ha of storage space and was completed in Jul 2002.
Only Working Fireplace
A cottage built on Pulau Ubin in the 1930s by then Chief Surveyor, Langdon Williams, as a holiday retreat, still has a working fireplace. The cottage is now being used as the visitor centre for the Chek Jawa Wetlands.
World’s Largest Airport
When Changi International Airport was officially opened on 29 Dec 1981, it was the world’s largest airport and had the world’s largest column-free hangar at 20,000 sq m. It was built mainly on reclaimed land.
First Underground Oil Storage
JTC is currently building the Jurong Rock Cavern at subterranean depths beneath the seabed of Banyan Basin on Jurong Island. The underground caverns have a potential storage capacity of close to 3 million cu m and could save an equivalent of 60 ha of surface land use. It will store liquid hydrocarbons like crude oil, condensates and gas oil. Development works began in end 2006 and the first cavern is expected to be ready for use in 2010.
First Family Service Centre
The first Family Service Centre which offers social services in the heartlands, opened in Macpherson in 1976.
First Town Hall And Clock Tower
The first town hall was built in 1862. In 1901, construction for a neighbouring building began in memory of the late Queen Victoria and officially opened in 1905 as the Victoria Memorial Hall. The town hall was also renovated, thus creating a unified appearance by 1909. In 1906, the signature clock tower was added. It is now known as the Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall.
First Branch Library
The Queenstown Community Library located at Margaret Drive was the first full-time branch library built by the National Library in its plan to decentralise home reading services. Opened in May 1970, it pioneered several firsts amongst branch libraries, including becoming the first fully air-conditioned branch in 1978, computerising its loan services in 1987, and lending video cassettes in 1997.
The first library was started in 1844 at Singapore Institution (predecessor of Raffles Institution). This library served mainly the school’s teachers and students and it also offered admission to the public. For a monthly subscription of 25 cents, the public could borrow the books. In 1887, it moved out to Stamford Road under the name Raffles Library, and in 1960 changed its name to the National Library.
The 17-storey Cathay Building was the tallest building in South-East Asia when it was completed in Oct 1939. It was designed by Frank W Brewer, the first university-qualified architect to work in Singapore. The Asia Insurance Building with 18 storeys, when completed in 1955, was for many years Singapore’s tallest building.
Oldest Surviving Southern Chinese Mansion
The House of Tan Yeok Nee, at the junction of Clemenceau Avenue and Penang Road, was built in 1885 as the house of a wealthy Teochew gambier and pepper merchant, Tan Yeok Nee. It was then transformed into the house of a station master, when the railway line was laid on Clemenceau Avenue. After that, it was converted into the bishop’s residence for the Rt Rev Ferguson-Davies, Bishop of Singapore, and successively into a boarding house for Eurasian girls, called St Mary’s House and School for Girls. In 1940, the Salvation Army bought it from the Church of England and made it their headquarters. It was later occupied by the Japanese Army from 1942-1945. The Salvation Army took it back after the war. Today, it houses the Chicago Graduate School of Business. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1974.
Tallest Office Building
Standing at 282m, One Raffles Place, originally known as OUB Centre, was designed by Kenzo Tange. Situated on top of the bustling Raffles Place MRT, it comprises a 62-storey office tower and a 5-storey retail podium. It opened on 8 Aug 1988. In 2011, a 38-storey annex tower was added.
First Multi-Use Building
When it opened for business in Oct 1970, People’s Park Complex was the first multi-use building, having shopping, residential, office and car parking facilities within a single structure. It also incorporated the first podium and tower block design.
Largest Night Entertainment Hub
St James Power Station near VivoCity, was Singapore’s first coal-fired power station, built in 1927. It reopened in Oct 2006 as a nightlife entertainment hub with nine outlets featuring different themes and genres spread out over 60,000 sq ft of space. The main draw is its live music. Powerhouse, the dance club, is the biggest venue at 10,000 sq ft, with space for up to 900 people.
Last Major Building With Brick Exterior
The MacDonald House, built in 1949, was the first high-rise office building to be erected after World War II. It was built for The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and was the last major building that was built in facing brick.
The first warehouse was built in 1819 by Tan Che Sang, a Cantonese agent for the early Chinese junks.
First Chinese Association
Founded by Tsao Ah Chih in 1819, the Tsao (or Cao) Clan Association is the oldest Chinese association. It was the meeting place of the Cantonese immigrants from the Taishan district of Guangdong Province.
Largest Exhibition Space
The ten exhibition halls in Singapore Expo, together provide 100,000 sq m of exhibition space, the largest available in Singapore.
Oldest Existing Clanshouse
Built in 1822 on Telok Ayer Street, Ying Fo Fui Kun, which housed Singapore’s first Hakka association, is the oldest surviving clanshouse in Singapore that is still in function today. It has also been gazetted as a national monument.
First Membership Club
The Singapore Club was established in 1861 on Cecil Street. Its membership was limited to ‘tuan besars’.
First Free Clinic Building
Thong Chai Medical Institute started out in a shophouse on Upper Pickering Street in 1867 by a group of Chinese to help fellow immigrants who could not afford medical aid. The Governor later granted the group a piece of land on Wayang Street to meet the increasing demand. The building was completed in 1892 and gazetted as a conservation building in 1963. The institute has now moved a to 10-storey building on Chin Swee Road.
The earliest childcare for the disabled or abandoned children on record dates back to 1854 when the sisters of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) set up an orphanage alongside the school on Victoria Street.
Largest Solar Installation
A photovoltaic power plant with a peak output of 300 kilowatts was built on REC (Renewable Energy Corporation) wafer fab building in Tuas in end 2009. REC is one of the world’s leading solar energy businesses. The plant is the world’s largest integrated solar manufacturing plant. Installed by Phoenix Solar, the annual energy yield of the photovoltaic plant is expected to be around 330,000 kilowatt hours.
Largest Solar Energy Park
The largest collection of solar power is found at the Marina Barrage which was opened on 1 Nov 2008. Covering an area of 1,200 sqm or about a third the size of a football field, the 405 solar panels convert solar energy into utility grade electricity to supplement the daytime power requirements of the Marina Barrage.
First Zero-Energy Building
A building block at the BCA Academy in Braddell has been transformed into a zero-energy building in 2009. Its net energy consumption is expected to be zero over a typical year, as it produces as much energy as it consumes. The 3,000 sqm building will be powered by solar panels but will also be connected to the power grid. The project is a joint effort by BCA and the NUS, led by Prof Lee Siew Eang.
Largest Shopping Mall By Area
VivoCity was built on the site of the exhibition halls of the former World Trade Centre, now the HarbourFront Centre. It has 139,000 sqm of gross floor area and 102,000 sqm of retail space. It opened in Oct 2006.
First Eco-Friendly Mall
Measuring 700,000 sq ft and opened in 2009, City Square Mall is the first shopping mall to have state-of-the-art green building features. The S$200-million mall has ‘green’ features such as eco-restrooms that save water and electricity and an eco-roof that harnesses solar power and rainwater. It is projected to reduce its energy usage by about 39 percent compared with conventional building designs.
First Developer To Receive Green Building Mark
In 2007, City Development became the first private developer to have achieved the BCA Green Mark Platinum awards for The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove and City Square Mall developments. Having attained the most Platinum and Gold awards, it was named BCA Green Mark Champion in 2008. The award by Building Construction Authority, was launched in 2005 and rates buildings on their environmental impact and performance.
Largest Underground Carpark
With approximately 3,200 lots and a total of 26 entrances and exits, Suntec City presently has the largest carpark in Singapore. The complex has an average of 10,000 motorists using its carpark facilities daily.
First Car Stack
Singapore’s first major car stacking system is in operation at the carpark at Heritage Place. Using rollers, optic sensors and frames, the cars are stacked on multiple levels. Heritage Place is a 5-storey restored shophouse located on Tan Quee Lan Street.
Largest Integrated Commercial Development
Built in 1997, Suntec City has 7 million sq ft of convention, exhibition, office, retail and car parking space. It is the biggest office development of over 217,000 sq m. The project is shaped like a hand, with the convention centre on the wrist and the five office towers rising like the fingers and the thumb. In the palm is the Fountain of Wealth.
First Fully Mechanised Public Carpark
The first fully mechanised public carpark opened on 18 Feb 2008 on Club Street. The S$6.18 million three-storey high-tech carpark complex is operated by Gtech.
In 1965, Singapore’s first escalator was featured at Orchard Cinema with a 24-lane Jackie’s Bowl. The building is now replaced with the Cathay Cineleisure Orchard.
First Bubble Lift
The first bubble lift was installed at Lucky Plaza. It was also the first lift with air conditioning instead of a fan. Opened in 1978, Lucky Plaza, served by 26 two-way escalators, has had the most number of escalators of all shopping complexes throughout Malaysia and Singapore.
Largest Place Of Worship
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery on Bright Hill Drive was founded in 1921. It has a land area of about 75,470 sq m, equivalent to about 10.7 football fields. Within the complex are examples of classical Chinese architecture, statues, shrines, a large turtle pool and a 4-storey building which has a capacity for storing 300,000 urns.
Oldest Chinese Temple Building
The oldest existing Chinese temple building in Singapore is the Thian Hock Keng Temple in Chinatown. It was built in 1842. The main temple is dedicated to the Taoist goddess of the sea and protector of all seamen, while a second temple at the back is a Buddhist one dedicated to Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy.
First Chinese Temple
Shuntian Gong (Temple of Submission to Heaven), dedicated to the earth deity Dabogong, was first built in 1796 according to an inscription inside the temple. The temple was first sited on Malabar Street and is currently, after several moves, located at Geylang Lorong 29.
Oldest Buddhist Temple
The 40,000 sq m Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery is more commonly known by its Hokkien name Siong Lim Temple. It was built in 1902 and completed in 1908. It is considered to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Singapore. The main donors to its construction were two Hokkien merchants, Low Kim Pong and Yeo Boon Seng.
Earliest Chinese Temples Built
The earliest temple built by the Hakkas, the Yinghe Guan, was completed in 1823. The Cantonese and Hakkas jointly built the Fuk Tak Chi in Telok Ayer in 1824, which is now a heritage museum at Far East Square. The earliest Teochew temple is the Wak Hai Cheng Bio, on Phillip Street, constructed in 1826. The earliest Hokkien temple is the Hengshan Ting at Silat Road, which was built in 1828. The earliest Hainanese temple is the Tianhou Temple, built on Beach Road in 1857.
Oldest Taoist Temple
Singapore’s oldest Taoist temple, Yueh Hai Ching (Wak Hai Cheng Bio) was built in 1826 at Telok Ayer for sailors and immigrants to thank the divinities for their safe passage from China. It moved to its present site on Phillip Street in the 1850s and is both a temple and Teochew clan association.
Most Crowded Temple
The Kuan Yin Thong Hood Cho, situated on Waterloo Street, was built in 1884. This popular Taoist temple is dedicated to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The temple attracts large numbers of worshippers, many of them from other Asian countries.
Largest Buddha Statue
The Buddha statue in the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya, on Race Course Road is 15m high and weighs 300 ton. The statue is illuminated by coloured electric lights. The temple is also known as the ‘Temple of Thousand Lights’.
Most Expensive Temple Building
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum in Chinatown is built following the Tang dynasty architectural style. Costing S$62 million, it opened in May 2007. It also houses the world’s largest cloisonne prayer wheel.
Largest Marble Buddha Statue
Sasanaramsi Burmese Buddhist Temple, located on Tai Gin Road, is the first and only Burmese Theravada Buddhist temple built outside Myanmar in the traditional style. Its marble Buddha image is also the largest enshrined outside Myanmar. The image stands eleven feet high and weighs ten tons. It was sculpted in Myanmar in 1918 and transported to Singapore in 1921.
Largest Display Of Gemstones
Adorning the wall at the main hall of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist centre in Punggol are 6,648 pieces of translucent greenish semi-precious stones costing more than S$500,000. The stones, called lapis lazuli, bear 5,183 characters from the Diamond Sutra teachings of Buddhism. The centre, the first Fo Guang Shan branch in Singapore, opened in Jun 2008.
Most Multi-Religious Temple
In the 1980s, a group of fishing buddies stumbled across Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu figurines on a beach at Loyang. They built a makeshift hut to house the statues. The statues shifted several times before settling down at a new S$12 million temple on Loyang Way in 2007. Today, the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple houses Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu deities and a Muslim kramat (shrine) under one roof.
First Portuguese Catholic Church
The Church of St Joseph on Victoria Street was built in 1853 by Father Vincentre de Santo Catharina. In 1906 the church was pulled down and the present one replace it in 1912.
The Armenian Church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator on Hill Street, completed in 1836 by George Coleman, is the first Christian church built in Singapore.
Oldest Anglican Church
St Andrew’s Cathedral is Singapore’s oldest Anglican house of worship. The original church designed by George Coleman was built from 1834 to 1837. In 1870, it was elevated to the status of a Cathedral. It was named St Andrew’s after the patron saint of Scotland in recognition of the Scottish community for being the main donors for the construction.
First Catholic Church
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was built between 1843 and 1846. Designed by JT Thomson, it was the first permanent Catholic church in Singapore. When the church became too small to accommodate its expanding community, the new building off Queen Street was built in 1888.
First Catholic Chapel
The first Catholic chapel was built in 1830 on Bras Basah Road, at the site of the old St Joseph’s Institution.
First Teochew Catholic Church
Constructed in 1901 by Father Jean Casimir Saleilles, Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the oldest Catholic church serving the Teochew community in Serangoon. It was gazetted as a national monument.
First Presbyterian Church
Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church was started in 1839 by Benjamin Keasberry, who was sent by the London Missionary Society.
First Indian Catholic Church
The Church of our Lady of Lourdes on Ophir Road, was built in 1888 by Father Joachim Alexander Marie Meneuvrier. Located near Serangoon Road, this Roman Catholic church was originally meant for Indian Catholics, particularly the Tamils.
First Chinese Church
In 1889, Hokkien Methodists were congregating in a rented house on Upper Nankin Street. In 1913, Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church acquired land at Telok Ayer and the church building was made of wood and corrugated iron. In 1924, the current building was completed, which included Chinese influences not typical of churches.
First Lutheran Church
In 1960, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer on Duke’s Road was established by an American couple, John Robert Melson and his wife Elizabeth Louis Wood.
First Methodist Church
In 1885, Rev William F Oldham and Dr James Thoburn arrived in Singapore. Together they conducted a series of evangelistic rallies, which were held in the Town Hall (later to be the Victoria Memorial Hall). It was here that the first Methodist Church in Singapore was established. In Dec 1886, it moved to a building on Coleman Street (later to become the Anglo-Chinese Primary School’s hall). The church was then known as The English Church.
First Assemblies Of God Church
Rev Cecil M Jackson and his wife, Edith, fled the uprising in China and came to Singapore in 1928. They started a village church work called Assembly of God Chapel among the Cantonese community at Balestier Plain (present-day Whampoa Drive). In 1939, it moved to its new premises on Serangoon Road and was named Elim Church.
First Bible-Presbyterian Church
In Jan 1955 Rev Timothy Tow led the formation of Life Bible-Presbyterian Church as an independent entity apart from the mother Life Church.
First Brethren Church
The 20 Bethesda churches in Singapore had its humble beginnings when Philip Robinson (of the famed Robinson dept store chain) started a house-church with 7 worshippers at 108 Bencoolen on 3 July 1857.
First Non-Denomination Church
Charles Phillips, a British army officer, started the Christian Institute in 1875 at the corner of Middle Road and Waterloo Street. Phillips conducted services at the place himself. When Methodist missionaries arrived in 1885, it was used by the Methodists until they build a church of their own. The building is now known as Sculpture Square.
The first Jewish synagogue was built in 1841 at a small shophouse on Synagogue Street by Abraham Solomon, who came from Baghdad. When the Jewish community needed bigger premises, the land was sold to the government and they bought a new property along Waterloo Street. Named Maghain Aboth, the synagogue was completed in 1878 and features a prayer hall which is oriented towards Jerusalem in the west, as well as a U-shape interior balcony for females.
When the Maghain Aboth got too crowded for worshippers, Sir Manasseh Meyer, once known as the richest Jewish merchant of the East, decided to build one – called Chesed-El – on his private residence at Oxley Rise. It was completed in 1905.
First Hindu Temple
The Sri Mariamman Temple, built on South Bridge Road in 1823, is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. It was established by Naraina Pillai, a government clerk from Penang, who came to Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles.
Oldest Murugan Temple
The Sri Thendayuthapani Murugan Temple on Tank Road was built in 1859. The Chettiars are Tamils who originated from South India and migrated to Singapore in the early 19th century. In every Chettiar community there is a Murugan shrine or temple.
Biggest Mosque Prayer Hall
The Assyakirin Mosque, located at Taman Jurong, was redeveloped in 2002 at a cost of S$10.2 million. It can accommodate about 6,000 people in congregation prayers. It has a gross floor area of 2,549 sq m.
Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka, located at Keng Cheow Street, is the first mosque to be built in Singapore. It was established in 1820, just a year after the British arrived, by Syed Omar bin Ali Aljunied. The original structure was a temporary timber building, which was torn down and replaced by a brick mosque in 1855. The minaret was added in 1985.
Tasek Utara Mosque, located at 46 Bristol Road near KK Hospital can accommodate about 120 people in a congregation prayer.
Oldest Indian Mosque
Jamae Chulia Mosque was built by Chulia Muslim merchants from India’s Coromandel coast in 1826. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1974.
Sultan Mosque is the largest mosque in Singapore and has the capacity to accommodate up to 5,000 Muslims in congregational prayers. It has a massive golden dome and huge prayer hall. The original mosque was built with the help of a $3,000 grant from Sir Stamford Raffles in 1824-1826. The new building was completed in 1928.
Only Underground Mosque
The Moulana Mohamed Ali Mosque is situated at the basement of the UOB Plaza. Spread over 6,000 sq ft, the mosque is conveniently linked to an underground train station. Every Friday, over a thousand people come to the mosque at prayer time.
First Eco-Friendly Mosque
Opened in May 2009, the Al-Mawaddah Mosque in Sengkang has environmentally-friendly features such as energy-saving solar tubes and a garden rooftop. The solar tubes allow natural light into the building. Other features include motion sensor lights and taps fitted with water-flow-regulating devices. Costing S$10.5 million to build, the mosque received the Green Mark certification from BCA.
World’s Deepest Church
In Nov 2001, City Harvest Church moved to its new premises on Jurong West Street 91 and made claim to the world’s deepest church with four storeys above ground and four levels of basement. The 1,700 sq m auditorium seats 2,000. Its membership exceeds 30,000.
Largest Church Building
From the lowest basement to the top of the steeple cross, City Harvest Church is 54m in height. The main auditorium has an area of 1,700 sq m. It is the biggest church structure in the South-East Asian Peninsula.
Only Mosque Named After A Woman
The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque on Beach Road, built in 1845, is the first in Singapore to be named after a woman. Hajjah Fatimah was a Malaccan Malay lady, married to a Bugis merchant from a royal family.
First Sikh Temple
The first Sikh Temple was erected within the police compound at Pearl’s Hill. In 1912, a group of Sikhs acquired a bungalow on Queen Street and turned it into a temple. When the land on which the temple stood was acquired by the government, the Central Sikh Temple on Towner Road was built and opened in 1986. It has a 13m-wide dome.
First Satellite Town
Queenstown is Singapore’s first satellite town, with 110,000 people housed in 17,000 units. It was built in the 1960s.
First New Town
Toa Payoh is the first town to be comprehensively planned by the government. Beginning in 1962, squatters were cleared and redevelopment started in 1964. This is the first town to incorporate a town centre, garden, library and light industries that provide employment for residents.
First Houses Developed By SIT
The Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) was formed in 1927 and administered by the British colonial authority. Its main tasks were to clear slum areas, acquire land for rehousing and construct houses. The first houses erected by the SIT in 1932 were on Lorong Limau.
First Public Housing Estate
The Tiong Bahru estate, built in the 1930s, was the first project undertaken by the Singapore Improvement Trust.
Oldest HDB Flats
HDB was established in Feb 1960. Within its first month, piling started at Stirling Road and Blocks 45, 48 and 49 are currently HDB’s oldest. Each of the seven-storey block has 15 units on every floor and they share communal chutes located at either end of the floor.
Largest HDB Estate
Jurong West, with a population of about 236,600 and a total of 69,650 HDB flats as at 31 Mar 2008, is Singapore largest housing estate.
First DBSS Project
HDB’s first Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project is the 616-unit Premiere @ Tampines, which drew nearly 6,000 applications when it was launched in 2006. It was built and marketed by Sim Lian Group Limited. Like condominiums, DBSS projects have built-in wardrobes, kitchen cabinets and better architecture finishes, but do not have facilities such as pools.
The Beverley Mai on Tomlinson Road was built in 1974. It was the first housing block in Singapore to incorporate shared common facilities like a swimming pool.
First Condo With Lifts Opening Directly To Apartments
The 25-storey Futura, built in 1976, was the second condominium to be built in Singapore. It was the first residential project to incorporate lifts that open directly into the apartments. It was sold en bloc in 2006.
Smallest Condominium Apartments
Launched in 2009, the Suites@Guillemard have four units with a floor area of 258 sq ft each. The unit is smaller than the smallest HDB studio apartment at 377 sq ft.
First Condo With Living Room Parking Bay
At the Hamilton Scotts, all 56 units will be equipped with their own private parking bay. At Scotts Road, the 30-storey tower is the first residential high-rise in Singapore and the third in the world, after developments in New York and Dubai, to have this parking feature. Residents will be able to drive their vehicle into a special glass elevator that will lift the vehicle from the ground floor to their ‘porch’ adjacent to their living rooms. Hayden Properties is the project’s developer.
First Foreign Workers’ Housing
The British used convict labour for their earliest construction work. The first group of around 80 convicts were brought from Bencoolen (present day Bengkulu) on 18 Apr 1825. A week later another 122 convicts were settled here. The convicts were housed in improvised wooden sheds around the area where Empress Place is today.
Most Expensive House
Arwaa Mansion located at Nassim Road, worth at least S$120 million, is possibly the most expensive residential house in Singapore. Owned by the Brunei Sultan’s brother, Prince Jefri Bolkiah and the country’s national investment agency, the house sits on a land area of about 110,000 sq ft.
Longest Sky Garden
Pinnacle@Duxton, besides being the tallest HDB apartments, has 12 skybridges running across the 50th and 26th levels. The skybridges add up to make the Sky Garden, the longest in the world. TTJ Design & Engineering was responsible for the lifting of the 354-ton skybridge which is equivalent to the weight of a Boeing 747. The bridge was lifted using four units of 180-ton hydraulics jacks.
Tallest HDB Blocks
Singapore’s tallest HDB apartment blocks, Pinnacle@Duxton, were completed in 2010, with 1,848 three-bedroom apartments in seven 50-storey blocks.
Most Expensive New HDB Flat
A unit on the 49th storey of Pinnacle@Duxton went for S$645,800, making it Singapore’s costliest new public flat.
Longest Lasting Residential House
Panglima Prang was the oldest surviving house in Singapore in 1982, before it was demolished to give way to condominiums. It was a bungalow situated at Jalan Kuala, off River Valley Road, built before 1860 by Tan Jiak Kim, pioneer of Singapore’s first medical school and grandson of Tan Kim Seng. It was the home of six generations of Tan Kim Seng’s family before the land was sold to a private developer.
Longest Condominium Building
Singapore’s longest condominium building, The Linear, measures 308m long by 22.65m wide. The 221-unit project at Upper Bukit Timah Road was developed by Creative Investments, a subsidiary of Amara Holdings. The architects were Kenzo Tange Associates & SAA Architects.
The first proper zoo was started in the early 1870s at the Botanic Gardens and had the most important animals from the region by 1902. However, it closed down in 1903 owing to financial difficulties. The Singapore Zoological Gardens, which was opened in 1971 in Mandai, next to Seletar Reservoir, is considered to be one of the most famous zoos in the world.
First Indoor Stadium
The Happy World Stadium, built in the Happy World Amusement Park in 1937, was the first indoor stadium that could accommodate 7,000 spectators. It hosted many sporting competitions including the 1952 Thomas Cup, when Singapore/Malaya won the world badminton title. When Happy World was renamed Gay World, the stadium became known as Geylang Indoor Stadium. It was demolished in 2001.
First Theme Park
Originally called Tiger Balm Gardens, it was built by Aw Boon Haw as a residence for his brother Boon Par, who helped create his fortune with the analgesic, Tiger Balm. Free of charge to the public, Haw Par Villa contained 1,000 statues, 150 giant tableaux from Chinese folklore, a 7-ton gorilla and the popular Ten Courts of Hell. In 1985, it was converted and enlarged into an amusement park.
World’s First Panorail Train In A Walk-In Aviary
Jurong Bird Park’s air-conditioned panorail train facilitates transportation to and from the park’s aviary.
First Reverse Bungee Jump Ride
G-Max has been operating Singapore’s first reverse bungee jump since it opened at Clarke Quay on 19 Nov 2003. Unlike the conventional bungee jump, where thrill seekers leap off a bridge while tied to a bungee cord, riders of the reverse bungee jump are catapulted into the air.
First Amusement Parks
The first 5.6-ha Great World Amusement Park started with about 150 wooden shacks out of a Chinese cemetery during the 1920s. The land was owned by Lee Choon Yung, a relative of philanthropist Lee Kong Chian. In the early 30’s, he developed the site into an amusement park targeted at lower-income families. In 1941, it was sold to the Shaw Organisation, which reopened it in 1958 after a complete facelift. A ferris wheel, a ghost train, a carousel and other children’s rides were installed. The park closed down in Mar 1964, although the cinemas and restaurants continued operating till 1978. It was one of the three ‘worlds’ in Singapore, the other two being the Shaw-operated New World, which opened in 1923, and Happy World, which was started around 1936 by a group of businessmen and later renamed Gay World.
Largest Outdoor Park
The 185-ha East Coast Park is the largest park in Singapore. It is built entirely on reclaimed land with a man-made beach in the 1970s.
First Sandcastle Headquarters
Alvin Lee obtained permisssion and funding from the government authorities to build Castle Beach at the East Coast Park, with its distinctive fairyland-like design. The structure houses his office and supplies, with which he conducts lessons on sandcastle-building.
First Botanic Gardens
The first botanic gardens was established by Sir Stamford Raffles on Fort Canning Hill in 1822 but was closed in 1829. It was reopened in 1836 and finally abandoned in 1846. Singapore Botanic Gardens on Cluny Road was built in 1859 and spread over 52 ha.
Last Freshwater Swamp
Nee Soon Swamp Forest is Singapore’s last permanently flooded freshwater swamp. The half-hectare swamp is part of the water catchment area.
First Asean Heritage Park
Sungei Buloh Nature Park located on Neo Tiew Crescent was designated a wild bird reserve and nature park for mangrove flora and fauna in 1989. The 87-ha site is the first of its kind to be established in Singapore, and lies directly along the East Asian Flyway, a migratory route for birds. It was named Asean Heritage Park in 2003. Asean Heritage Parks are protected areas of high conservation importance preserving in total a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the Asean region.
Bukit Timah Hill measures 163.63m and is the highest hill in Singapore.
First Canopy Walk
The Kent Ridge Canopy Walk connects Kent Ridge Park to the Reflections at Bukit Chandu Museum. The 280m-long boardwalk opened in Nov 2003.
Changi Boardwalk was built in stages from 2001 to 2006. The 2.6-km boardwalk connects Changi Beach Club in the western end to the Changi Sailing Club at its mid-point and the Changi Point Ferry Terminal in the eastern end.
First Night Wildlife Park
The Night Safari at the Singapore Zoological Gardens was built in 1994 and is the first wildlife park in the world built to be viewed after dark. The Safari is built on a 40-ha park with 20,000 plants and 900 trees to create a jungle effect.
Greatest Variety Of Birds Performing In A Bird Show
The All Star Bird Show at Jurong Bird Park features the greatest variety of birds of all bird shows in the world – 52 birds from 12 different species worldwide. It is also the first of its kind in the region.
The Singapore Zoological Gardens won the Cleanest Toilet Award in 1997 and 1998 from the Ministry of Environment. Later the assessment came under the Restroom Association of Singapore, which gave it the Five-Star awards for cleanliness, functionality and creativity in 2003 and 2004 in its Happy Toilet Awards.
Largest Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park, home to more than 9,000 birds of 600 species from around the world, was opened on 3 Jan 1971. It is Asia-Pacific’s largest bird park.
Largest Walk-In Aviary
The walk-in aviary at Jurong Bird Park is 34m high at its tallest point. It is 130m wide and 140m long and occupies an area of approximately 19,000 sq m.
World’s Largest Lory Flight Aviary
The Lory Loft at Jurong Bird Park is the world’s largest lory flight aviary. The 3,000 sq m space set in the Australian outlook landscape with a 9-storey high loft gives visitors a 360 degrees elevated view of the environs.
Highest Man-Made Waterfall
At Jurong Bird Park is the world’s largest collection of South-East Asian hornbills and South American toucans, and the world’s second largest penguin exhibit. The world’s biggest man-made waterfall (30m) is also here.
Asia’s First Nocturnal Bird House
The World of Darkness at the Jurong Bird Park, Asia’s first nocturnal bird house, was opened in 1982. The exhibits include approximately 60 birds from 17 different species, including the snowy owl and the night heron.
First Wet And Dry Playground
Singapore’s first wet and dry playground is located at Jurong Bird Park. The playground features a zero-water-depth concept that allows wheelchair-bound children to participate in water-based activities safely – without getting out from their wheelchairs. The wet and dry activities are in two separate areas. There is also a changing room facility at the playground.
Largest Butterfly Park
The Singapore Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom is the first park in the world with a 70m long cave housing live insect specimens in their natural surroundings. It has 3,000 species of butterflies and other insects from around the world.
First Public Aquarium
In Sep 1955, Van Kleef Aquarium opened its doors as Singapore’s first public aquarium at Fort Canning Hill. It was named after Dutch resident KWB Van Kleef for his generous donation of S$479,000. By the 1970s, it housed more than 6,000 aquatic creatures with almost 400,000 visitors a year. It closed in 1991 due to dwindling visitorship.
First Children’s Garden
Opened in Oct 2007, the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden at Bukit Timah is not only a large playground but also provides educational insight into the natural world. It is an extension of the Botanic Gardens.
Largest Offshore Islands
The largest of Singapore’s 63 offshore islands are: Pulau Tekong with 2,365.5 ha, Pulau Ubin with 1,023.9 ha and Sentosa with 500 ha.
World’s First Oceanarium RFID System
Fishes in the Living Fossils tank at Underwater World Singapore are embedded with RFID tags from May 2007. The tag implanted in each fish enables it to be sensed by antennas in the front of the exhibition tank. When the fish swims near the antenna, it relays a signal to a touch screen computer displaying detailed information about the fish including its name, diet and characteristics.
Longest Flying Fox Ride
Sentosa’s Megazip Adventure Park, opened in 2009, has a 450m-long flying fox ride. The park also features a treetop rope course, a 14m simulated free fall and a rock climbing wall.
Snow City in Jurong is maintained at -5 deg C throughout the year. The recreational snow facility, set up in 2000, is owned by Singapore Science Centre.
First Ice Skating Rink
The first ice-skating rink was built in 1974 in Taman Jurong, after which a new rink called the Ice Palace was set up in Kallang Leisure Park, few months later. Due to the lack of popularity, both rinks were closed down in 1978.
Largest And Most Comprehensive Collection Of Nanyang Artists
The Singapore Art Museum, opened in 1995, owns the largest collection of over 7,500 20th century Singapore and Southeast-Asian artworks in the world. The collection may be traced to its predecessor, the National Museum Art Gallery, which opened in 1976 to a bequest of 93 works collected by the late Dato Loke Wan Tho. The museum’s collection was augmented in 1994 when it received a donation of 53 works by pioneer painter Georgette Chen. It occupies the former St Joseph’s Institution founded in 1852 by the La Salle Brothers.
First Museum And Library
The first museum in Singapore was established in 1823. A library was added in 1844. The museum and library were both housed at Raffles Institution until 1862. The Raffles Library and Museum opened on 12 Oct 1887 at Stamford Road. The name was subsequently changed to National Library and National Museum and operated separately.
Largest Asian Cultural Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum is the first museum in the region to present a broad yet integrated perspective of pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. The Museum’s collection therefore centres on the material cultures of the different groups originating from China, South-East Asia, South Asia and West Asia. Its first premises at Armenian Street opened in 1997. It moved to Empress Place Building in 2003.
Largest Military Museum
The Army Museum of Singapore was opened in Sep 2007 to tie in with the 40th anniversary of National Service. It has six galleries spread over two floors on a 18,000 sq m site at Upper Jurong Road.
Largest War Museum
Tucked into the hillside of Fort Canning is the Battle Box, the largest underground command centre of British Malaya during World War II. Comprising 22 rooms linked by a corridor, this complex is bomb-proof and capable of recycling its own air supply. The Battle Box has been renovated to become an audio-visual display centre.
Asia’s Only Philatelic Museum
The Singapore Philatelic Museum on Coleman Street occupies part of the former buildings of Anglo-Chinese School built in 1904. In the 1970s, the building became the Methodist Book Room until it was restored to become the present museum in 1995. Outside the museum is Singapore’s only operational red pillar box which was introduced in 1873.
World’s Largest Peranakan Museum
There are ten permanent galleries in this 4,005 sqm Peranakan Museum opened in 2008. The themes include the elaborate 12-day Peranakan wedding, the role of the Nonyas, and prominent Peranakans in Singapore’s history.
Largest Collection Of Shanghai Toys
Marvin Chan has a collection of more than 3,000 made-in Shanghai toys which were made between 1910 and 1970s. The Museum of Shanghai Toys is at Rowell Road.
Largest Collection Of Buddhist Artifacts
Lawyer Woon Wee Teng has 40,000 Buddhist artefacts housed in the Nei Xue Tang (Hall of Inner Learning), opened in 2005 in Cantonment Road. In 2007, tycoon Oei Hong Leong who owns 10,000 Buddha statues, acquired Woon’s collection.
First Museum On Chinese Emigration
Hua Song Museum, located within Haw Par Villa, is the world’s first visitor centre dedicated to the story of Chinese emigration around the world. Hua Song (meaning ‘in praise of the Chinese’) brings alive the dreams, sacrifices and achievements of the Chinese who went in search of fortune overseas.
First Peranakan Memorial Museum
The Baba House, at 157 Neil Road, is conserved in the distinctive Peranakan heritage, with an eclectic mix of antiques, decorative ornaments, Peranakan cuisine, social customs and lifestyle. The museum was made possible by a donation of S$4 million from Agnes Tan to NUS in memory of her father, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, founder of the Malaysian Chinese Association and a respected Peranakan community leader.
First Museum Of Contemporary Chinese Art
Plastic surgeon Woffles Wu’s personal collection of more than 200 pieces of Chinese art is showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Chinese Art. It opened in 2009 at Kaki Bukit Road.
Only Museum Named After A Living Artist
Tan Swie Hian, Cultural Medallion winner (1987), is one of Singapore’s most versatile artists. He has created a large body of work in various media including painting, sculpture, printmaking, calligraphy and seal-carving. He has since published 39 books of poetry. The Tan Swie Hian Museum at Sims Avenue was opened in 1993 by art collector Tan Tien Chi.
First Purpose-Built Toy Museum
The Mint Museum of Toys is the world’s first purpose-built toy museum. Some unique features of the museum include the building’s facade, specially designed to exclude external light and ultra-violet rays. It has a special lighting system for the shelves that does not allow shadows to be cast onto the toys. The private museum contains Chang Yang Fa’s personal collection of more than 50,000 toys.
Only Museum Named After A Monk
The Kong Hiap Memorial Museum was opened by the Singapore Buddhist Lodge in 2007. It is in memory of the Venerable Kong Hiap, who was born in China’s Fujian province in 1900 and died here in 1994 at the age of 94. On display are Chinese paintings, calligraphy and Buddhist artefacts.
First Pewter Museum
The Royal Selangor Pewter Museum at Clarke Quay has about 800 objects made of pewter, an alloy of copper, antimony and tin. The museum has a private collection of 75 items ranging from tobacco boxes, oil lamps, intricate Chinese lanterns with lotus motifs to pewter-making tools as old as 100 years or more.
Largest Science Museum
The Singapore Science Centre has the country’s largest collections of educational exhibits devoted to science. It houses more than 850 interactive exhibits, depicting the wonder and beauty of science.
Only War And State Cemetery
The Kranji War Memorial, built in 1946 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II, commemorates 20,000 men and women of the Allied Forces who had no known graves. An additional 4,000 servicemen were buried in the War Cemetery. The memorial also serves as the Singapore State Cemetery.
Oldest Malay Cemetery
The Malay Cemetery, built in Kampong Glam in 1819 by Sultan Hussein Shah and his followers, is the oldest Malay cemetery in Singapore. It was first called ‘Tombs of the Malayan Princes’ in JB Tassin’s map of 1836.
Going by tombstone inscriptions, the oldest grave is that of Fang Shan, who died in 1833. It is believed that in 1941, the Fang clan association relocated the original grave to its current site in Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetery, off Kheam Hock Road.
First Concrete Crypt Graves
To make space for more burial plots, the first batch of 6,388 crypts was built at the Muslim cemetery in Choa Chu Kang in 2007. The crypts have concrete wall slabs and a four-ton concrete cover with earth and grass planted on top. The coffin stays in contact with the earth. The walls are 15 cm thick, compared to the 45 cm earth walls for soil burials.
The Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium complex comprises six four-storey blocks, with the capacity to accommodate approximately 77,000 niches. It was built in 2004.
Oldest Christian Cemetery
The earliest Christian cemetery was close to the top of Government Hill (Fort Canning). The burial ground has been cleared and the tombstones are now embedded in the wall surrounding it. The earliest tombstone was that of John C Collingwood, erected in 1821. George Coleman, the first government architect, was also buried here.
Only Functioning Cemetery
The Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex is the only cemetery in Singapore still open for burials.
High Street was constructed in 1821 by convict labourers. It was the first street in Singapore to have a stone hardcore base sealed with laterite.
The longest road in Singapore is the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). It stretches 42.8 km from Tuas to Changi. It was constructed in 1966-1981.
The shortest road in Singapore is Tua Kong Green, near Upper East Coast Road. It measures just 26m.
First Pedestrian Underpass
The first pedestrian underpass was constructed in 1964 at Connaught Drive.
Toa Payoh Flyover, completed in May 1970, is the first flyover to be built here. Costing S$3.2 million, it spanned Thomson Road and was intended to relieve congestion at the junction.
First Underground Road
The underground sections of the Central Expressway (CTE), were the only underground roads in Singapore till the Fort Canning Tunnel opened in Jan 2007. The CTE tunnel went underneath previously built-up areas, including the Singapore River, Fort Canning Park and Orchard Road. The CTE opened in 1991.
First Air-Conditioned Streets
Three of the oldest streets in Singapore – Malay, Malabar and Hylam Streets – were covered with glass and air-conditioned in 1995. The streets lie within Bugis Junction shopping mall and are the only air-conditioned streets in Singapore.
Largest Road Project
The 12-km long Kallang/Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) is the largest road project to be carried out in Singapore. It connects the East Coast Parkway (ECP) in the south to the Tampines Expressway (TPE) in the north-east. It includes a 9-km long tunnel section, which was completed in 2008, and is the longest road tunnel in South-East Asia.
On the site of the present Elgin Bridge stood a wooden drawbridge in 1819. It was the first bridge over the Singapore River and was known as Presentment Bridge or Monkey Bridge, linking North Bridge Road and South Bridge Road.
The Presentment Bridge underwent many repairs and was finally replaced by a wooden footbridge, which was named Thomson Bridge after John Thomson who constructed it. In 1862, it was replaced by an iron bridge imported from Calcutta, and named Elgin Bridge after Lord Elgin who was the Governor-General of India. The Cavenagh Bridge was built in 1869. The Coleman and Ord Bridges were built in 1886, and the Read Bridge, in 1889. Anderson Bridge was built in 1909.
The smallest public bridge in Singapore is the ‘Three-Step Bridge’ found at the Chinese Garden. It takes just three steps to walk across this bridge.
Highest Pedestrian Bridge
Spanning 274m across the Henderson Road, the 36m-high wave-shaped Henderson Waves is the highest pedestrian bridge. The bridge links up the hills from Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. Costing S$12.5 million and completed in 2008, the 8m-wide bridge is made of steel and timber decking. The bridge, commissioned by URA, was designed by RSP Architects. The main contractor was Evan Lim & Co and TTJ Design & Engineering fabricated and installed the bridge’s steel structure.
First Suspension Footbridge
Built in 1998, the suspension footbridge spans the Geylang River and allows residents of Tanjong Rhu to cross over to the National Stadium.
Longest Bridge And First Viaduct
Benjamin Sheares Bridge was officially opened in 1982. The bridge spans Marina Bay and is part of the East Coast Expressway. It is 1.8 km long and rises 20m above the ground.
First Pedestrian Overhead Bridge
The first pedestrian overhead bridge was built at Collyer Quay in 1964. The 34m bridge is now part of the Change Alley Aerial Plaza.
First Steel Suspension Bridge
The Cavenagh Bridge, built in 1869, is the oldest bridge still in its original design. Originally the bridge could be raised to allow passing vessels but soon it could not withstand the increasing traffic. It became a pedestrian bridge in 1910.
Longest Rope Bridge
Connecting Palawan Beach in Sentosa to the islet claimed as the southernmost point on continental Asia is a suspended rope bridge.
Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge
Opened in Jan 2008, Keppel Bay Bridge is the first public bridge built by a private developer. Spanning 250m, it links Marina at Keppel Bay and homes on the private Keppel Island to the mainland. The bridge was designed by DCA Architects and TY Lin International at a cost of S$30 million.
First Double Helix Bridge
The Cox Group and engineers Arup from Australia, and Singapore-based Architects 61 designed an entirely new concept in bridge construction, based on the double helix structure of DNA. The double helix carries a pedestrian walkway and a six-lane vehicular bridge at Marina Bay. It is a world first as it did not use any of the known support mechanisms which categorise all bridges built to date. The concept enables the use of much lesser steel than conventional bridge designs. Made of duplex stainless steel material, the 565-ton Helix Bridge has a total span of 280m. The fabrication work was carried out by TTJ Design and Engineering and completed in 2010.
First Statue Of Sir Stamford Raffles
Opened in Jan 2008, Keppel Bay Bridge is the first public bridge The original bronze statue of Sir Stamford Raffles was created by Thomas Woolner in 1887 and placed at the centre of the Padang. In 1919, on the centenary of Singapore’s founding, it was relocated to the front of the Victoria Memorial Hall and Theatre. In 1969, on the 150th anniversary of the founding, the government erected another, a white replica beside the Old Parliament House, by the Singapore River.
First Public Fountain
The Tan Kim Seng Fountain was built in 1882 in Fullerton Square near Johnston’s Pier, to commemorate Tan Kim Seng’s generous donation towards the construction of a fresh water supply system. In 1925, the fountain was moved to Connaught Drive next to the Cenotaph.
The Civilian War Memorial is dedicated to civilians who perished during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore (1942-1945). It is located opposite Raffles City. The structure of four pillars soared to more than 68m symbolising the shared ‘war experiences’ of the Chinese, Indians, Malays and other races.
World’s Largest Fountain
The Fountain of Wealth, located at Suntec City, is the world’s largest fountain at 1,683.07
sq m. Built at a cost of S$6 million, it has four bronze legs which support a ring 21m in diameter. The central vertical jet can shoot up to 30m.
Oldest Public Drinking Fountain
The fountain originally stood at Raffles Place in 1864 but is now relocated in the grounds of the National Museum. Still working, it was donated by auctioneer John Gemmill.
Tallest Observation Wheel
The Singapore Flyer, on Raffles Avenue, is the world’s tallest observation wheel when it started rotating on 11 Feb 2008. It stands at 165m, or 42 storeys high. It can take 784 passengers at a time. Each ride lasts about 37 min.
The height of the Merlion found in Sentosa is 37m. There are 320 scales on the Merlion with 16,000 fibre-optic and iridescent lights.
First Merlion Statue
The first Merlion statue was built in 1972. It stood 8m tall at its original location at the mouth of the Singapore River. The Merlion was built by a local craftsman, Lim Nang Seng. In 2002, it moved from the mouth of the Singapore River to the Merlion Park, located next to One Fullerton.
The Kallang River flows for 10 km from the Lower Peirce Reservoir to the coast at Nicoll Highway, making it the longest river in Singapore.
Only Hot Spring
Singapore’s only hot spring is at Sembawang End Park. In the 1950s, Fraser & Neave bottled the water as mineral water called Seletaris.
Costing S$230 million and taking three years to build, the Marina Barrage opened in Nov 2008. The 350m-wide dam was built across the Marina Channel to keep out seawater and it formed Singapore’s first reservoir in the city. It is Singapore’s 15th reservoir and has a catchment area of 10,000 ha, or one-sixth the size of Singapore. Besides creating a freshwater reservoir, the barrage alleviates flooding in low-lying areas of the city and also provides a new venue for water-based recreation.
Largest Water Reclamation Plant
The Changi Water Reclamation Plant, opened in Jun 2009, is the largest and most advanced water reclamation plant. The pumping station is as high as a 25-storey building. The station collects all used water from the deep sewerage tunnels via gravity. Part of that treated water will be processed into Newater. The treatment factory can produce 50 million gallons of treated water daily.
Largest Water Pump
The Marina Barrage, currently under construction, has the world’s largest pumps brought in from the Netherlands. Their job is to drain out excess water during flooding. Each pump weighs 28 tons.
First Fishing-Allowed Reservoir
In 1985, Kranji Reservoir became the first reservoir opened to the public for sport fishing.
Munshi Abdullah recorded in the 1840s that the first kelong (fish traps on stakes) was set up at Tanjong Malang, near to Tanjong Pagar.
First Lake And Reservoir Used For Water Sports
In 1983, Jurong Lake was permitted for the first time for national waterski training and to host the SEA Games waterskiing event. In 2004, water sports were allowed in reservoirs starting with the HSBC Wakeboard World Cup held at Bedok Reservoir.
First Water Import
In 1927, a water treaty was signed with the Sultan of Johor. Singapore received its first supply of water from Johor in 1932.
Only Country Recycling Water From Drains And Canals
Back in the 1980’s, the PUB put in place a plan to harness rainwater collected in urban areas. Singapore is now the only country in the world getting drinking water directly from a system of drains and canals. The scheme harnesses water from the northern and eastern parts of the island, and channels them to the Bedok and Lower Seletar Reservoirs.
Asia’s Largest RO Desalination Plant
In Sep 2005, Singapore opened its first seawater desalination plant by SingSpring, a fully-owned subsidiary of Hyflux. The S$200 million desalination plant uses reverse osmosis (RO) technology. The plant can supply 136,000 cu m of water a day, meeting about 10 percent of Singapore’s daily water needs. It is also one of the world’s most energy-efficient desalination plants. It sells water to the PUB at one of the lowest prices in the world for desalinated water – 78 cents a cu m.
First Wastewater Recycling Plant
The Bedok Newater Plant is Singapore’s first wastewater recycling plant, undertaken by Hyflux for the PUB, to supply high-grade water primarily for non-potable applications to the wafer fabrication plants, high-end electronic companies as well as cooling towers. Completed in 2002, it has a daily capacity of 32,000 cu m.
The construction of the first waterworks, Impounding Reservoir was completed in 1867. However, the pumps and distributing networks were not completed until 1877. The waterworks were fully completed and officially opened in 1878. It was enlarged several times and in 1922, renamed MacRitchie Reservoir.
Earliest Plantation Agricultural Crops
The earliest attempts to introduce Singapore to plantation agriculture occurred between 1830 and 1840. However, the endeavour at nutmeg, coffee, sugar, cotton, cinnamon, cloves, and indigo plantation met with little success.
First Gambier Planter
Seah Eu Chin who came to Singapore in 1823, was a successful plantation owner and was believed to be the first to plant gambier on a large scale. By 1839, his gambier plantation was said to have stretched for eight to ten miles, from the upper end of River Valley Road to Bukit Timah Road and Thomson Road.
First Rubber Planter
In 1898, Dr Lim Boon Keng who founded the Sembawang Rubber Plantation, with 3,800 acres in the northern part of the island, became the first large-scale rubber planter.
Biggest Rubber Cultivator
Singapore-born Peranakan Lim Nee Soon was Singapore’s largest cultivator of rubber in the 1920s. He controlled more than 8,000 ha of rubber trees and was one of the first to capitalise on rubber’s economic potential.
First Large-Scale Mushroom Farm
Established in 1980, Mycofarm is the first large-scale commercial mushroom grower in Singapore. Mycofarm produces around 20,000 tons of mushrooms a month, about 10 percent of the local market’s demand.
First Farm Growing Temperate Vegetables
Aero-Green Technology’s 5.2-ha farm in Lim Chu Kang was set up in 1995 and is reputed to be the first in Asia to adapt the aeroponics technology to grow temperate vegetables in Singapore. The company also produced the world’s first lettuce juice, Lettucinno.
First Commercial Hydroponic Farm
Oh Chin Huat Hydroponic Farm is one of the most successful hydroponics farms in Singapore. It made forays into the hydroponics business since 1991 growing tropical vegetables at Nee Soon Agrotechnology Park.
Oldest Existing Garden Nursery
Nyee Phoe Flower Garden started in 1911. It has grown from a family business to one incorporating the latest garden and landscape services. The farm is at Neo Tiew Crescent.
Largest Crocodile Farm
Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm in at Neo Tiew Crescent has around 20,000 crocodiles bred for their skin and meat.
Largest Bean Sprout Farm
Singapore’s biggest bean sprout producer and distributor, ACT Bean Sprout, produces 11 tons of high quality bean sprouts daily. The 1-ha farm, located at Lim Chu Kang Agrotechnology Park, is a highly automated bean sprout production plant in Singapore.
Largest Koi Farm
Max Koi Farm at Neo Tiew Cresent is the largest koi fish farm in Singapore. The 10-acre farm is owned and managed by Max Ng.
Only Frog Farm
Jurong Frog Farm occupies a 1.1-ha plot in Lim Chu Kang. It started in Jurong in 1981 by Wan Bock Thiaw rearing mainly American bullfrogs. It supplies a quarter of the frogs that Singaporeans consume, about eight tons a month.
Largest Arowana Farm
Dreamfish Inc specialises in breeding Asian arowanas and has even produced its own bloodline – the Merlion Arowana. Started in 2000, it produces 2,000 arowanas a year and has 116 ponds in the 80,000 sq m farm at Lim Chu Kang Agrotechnology Park.
Only Cattle Farm
Vishnu Dairy Farm in Lim Chu Kang is Singapore’s only dairy farm. It has about 200 cows producing milk for sale.
Only Inland Food Fish Farm
The 3.8-ha Khai Seng fish farm breeds and rears fish like giant snakeheads, grouper, red tilapia, bullfrog, patin, toman and grass carp. Incorporated in 1997, it is the only fish farm in Singapore that has a licence to retail fish at its own premises.
Largest Food Fish Farm
Located off Pulau Semakau, Barramundi Asia produces 500 tons of barramundi, also known as Asian sea bass, a year. It began harvesting the fish from its 14 sea cages in Oct 2009 as they reached about one kg each. The barramundi fry comes from the AVA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre at St John’s Island, Singapore’s first sea bass hatchery. The genetically selected fast-growing fry met its commercial success in 2007.
First Cobia Fish Farm
Changi Fishery successfully bred cobia for the mass market in 2008. Also known as the black kingfish or lemon fish, it is suitable for sashimi or raw consumption. The fishery is the largest floating kelong currently operating in Singapore waters, using hydraulically operated kelong nets. It is able to net more then 100 kg of fishes and seafood each day.
First To Export Tropical Fish To The West
Teo Way Yong, a fish shop owner in the 1940s, was the first to sell tropical fish to the West. He made his first business trip to the United States in 1947 by ship with a tin can filled with guppies. Today, Teo Way Yong & Sons is one of the largest exporters of tropical fish in Singapore.
Only Goat Farm
Hay Dairies Farm in Lim Chu Kang is Singapore’s only goat farm. It has about 1,000 goats of mixed breed, producing milk for sale on the 2-ha farm.
Top Ornamental Fish Imported And Exported
In 2006, the top ornamental fish exported from Singapore is the tetra. The ornamental fish Singapore imported most is the dragon fish or arowana.
Only Quail Farm
Lian Wah Hang Quail Farm is the leading quail and game bird farm in Singapore. Ho Seng Choon started it as a chicken farm in 1954. It has 100,000 to 150,000 quails at any one time and 36,000 quail eggs are collected each day. The farm also breeds guinea fowl, pigeon and kampong chicken.
D’Kranji Farm Resort is Singapore’s first agri-tainment centre. The 20 farm villas at Lim Chu Kang come with room service, housekeeping and spa services. The 547,883 sq ft attraction, which also has retail and food outlets, is being developed by HLH, one of the largest commercial corn producers in Asia.