People's Park Complex

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Time Required: 1 - 2 hours

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9:30 AM - 10:00 PM

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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. The idea of this structure was to rejuvenate one of the most densely populated and traditional areas of post-independent Singapore. As such, the People's Complex was strategically built in Singapore's Central Business District, one of its most populous area.

The Complex is situated right in the heart of Chinatown, and as such gives visitors a great vibe and feel of the place. It houses various electronic shops, massage parlours and food stalls. The food stalls are the main draw of People's Park Complex. Locals as well as tourists flock to this Mall to enjoy the delicious local cuisine, available at unbelievably cheap prices. There are a large number of food stalls serving delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian food which visitors can choose from according to their preference and craving. The quantity of the food served is huge and can be easily split between two people. Along with the food stalls, visitors can also enjoy fresh juice at the juice bars here. Visitors can also great deals on various types of electronics at the numerous electronic shops located all over the Complex. Another interesting feature of the Complex, are the elderly Chinese cobblers who have set up workshops on the pavement outside and continue to practice a craft which is several decades old. The People's Park Complex is a must visit for all those who want to enjoy authentic and scrumptious Singaporean and Chinese street food, at very accessible prices.

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There is a large number of food stalls clustered together in People's Park Complex. They all serve incredibly delicious food at extremely cheap and reasonable prices. Almost every type of local street food is available at the People's Park Complex. As such, 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 and Chinese BBQ items. There are also several stalls selling fresh fruit juice. Both the food quantity and quality is incredible, making these food stalls one of the best places in Singapore to taste authentic local food.

The current site of the Complex used to be an open public park. This later became the People's Market or Pearl's Market, the 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 the Complex, resulting in a massive evacuation of all occupants. No loss of life was reported although there was severe damage to goods.

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 for 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 the 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.

People's Park Complex is located at 1 Park Road, Singapore 059108. It can be reached by reaching the Chinatown MRT station which has an exit next to the food court and OG department store.

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