Make Changi Zouk's new home

Make Changi Zouk's new home
"There's always this factor for development and conservation. Zouk should be kept. Modern apartments can be built anywhere," said Miss Lowe.

I agree with Zouk founder Lincoln Cheng that the old Kallang Airport is not an ideal site for Zouk ("Zouk and Singapore Flyer: Perfect for each other?"; last Sunday).

I foresee a repeat of the challenges facing the Jiak Kim Street club when the Kallang area develops into a residential and mixed-development precinct in the next couple of decades.

The Kallang Airport would be useful only for a "pop-up" Zouk, should the club fail to renew its three-year lease at its current home.

I urge Mr Cheng and the authorities to consider a 30-year lease at the failed Changi Motorsports Hub site, besides the Singapore Flyer. Distance should not be a problem for a club of Zouk's stature, since many of its fans already travel from across the island and the region to party at its current premises and at the ZoukOut festival.

In fact, the more "elusive" Zouk becomes, the greater the likelihood that its "cult of personality" will increase.

Changi can enhance Zouk's allure and secure its future with new businesses.

Zouk can begin the next chapter of its life by creating an iconic establishment from scratch - instead of breathing new life into existing spaces - like it did in Jiak Kim Street when the lane was unknown to many 25 years ago.

I am confident that Mr Cheng's training as an architect and his keen eye for art and design can transform the pylons in the Changi site into design features of the new Zouk playground.

Zouk has done a fantastic job for Singapore's nightlife and entertainment scene. I urge Mr Cheng, the club and its fans to exercise their creativity and imagination.

Keep that pioneering spirit alive and well, and be the catalyst to revitalise Changi - and our beloved Changi Airport - into a hip and vibrant neighbourhood in Singapore and the region.

Imagine flying or sailing home and being welcomed by the bright lights of a home-grown brand that has attained cult status in hipsterdom.

Toh Cheng Seong

This article was first published on June 29, 2014.
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