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People's Park Complex, Singapore Overview

Located within People's Park on Eu Tong Sen Street, the People's Park Complex is a high rise residential and commercial building. 31 storeys high, it was the first of its kind shopping complex in Southeast Asia due to its unique architecture which combined a shopping complex topped with apartments and offices. Situated in the heart of Chinatown, the People's Park Complex is visited for its electronic shops, massage parlours, and food stalls (which are the main draw).

The idea of People's Park Complex was to refurbish one of the most densely populated and traditional areas of post-independence Singapore. The Chineseness of the site, along with scrumptious street food, cheap shopping and relaxing massages (by the footbridge) draws in tourists and locals alike, especially during the weekends.

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Food Centres

There is a large number of food stalls clustered together in People's Park Complex serving delectable food at cheap prices. The food centre is popular with both locals and foreign tourists and is especially crowded during lunch and dinner times. Some of the most popular food items available found here are
  • Singaporean repas
  • Prawn omelettes
  • Fishball noodles
  • Prawn noodles
  • Laksa
  • Oyster omelette
  • Dried chilli frog legs served with rice
  • Fried kway teow and various types of dumplings
  • Chinese BBQ items
  • There are also several stalls selling fresh fruit juice.

Architecture

The architecture of People's Park Complex is very unique, as it employs mixed-use development, and was one of the first to do so. There are offices and apartments above the shopping complex podium, with 25 levels being dedicated to the residential and office space. Verticals have been added to the roof to enhance the visual look of the residential block, while the roof itself is communal, containing a crèche and an open-air play area.

The shopping centre houses the very first 'city room' or atrium of Singapore. It is surrounded by shops, many of which are located in two multi-storey interlocking atriums. The City Room was designed by Japanese architects to copy the busy environment of Chinatown. Originally, the exterior of People's Park Complex was designed to be of raw concrete, in the Brutalist architectural style. This architectural style can also be seen in the design of the podium and tower which have circular portholes on top. The building was recently given a new look, being painted green and maroon.

History of People's Park Complex

The current site of People's Park Complex used to be an open public park which was later converted into People's Market or Pearl's Market. This site for several outdoor stalls which were destroyed by a fire in 1966. The People's Park Complex project was undertaken by the Urban Renewal Department of the Housing and Development Board's Sale of Sites programme, and it marked the programme's first sale in 1967. Construction of the complex was completed in October 1970.

Standing at 103 meters with 31 storeys, the Complex was considered to be the first of its kind in all of Southeast Asia. It is one of the largest shopping complexes in the shopping belt of Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road. It stands right in the middle of Chinatown, occupying one hectare of land. In April 2010, a huge fire broke out on the fifth floor of People's Park Complex, resulting in a massive evacuation of all occupants. No loss of life was reported although there was severe damage to goods.

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