Doors close at Rochor Centre, Park Mall, Funan

Doors close at Rochor Centre, Park Mall, Funan
Rochor Centre, famous for the multicoloured hues of its blocks, will have to make way for the southern stretch of the NSE.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

As imposing as buildings can be, it is sometimes easy to forget that they are not permanent.

Park Mall, the iconic furniture centre, closed in September and will make way for a commercial development. Naturally, some people were sad at the loss of the 45-year-oldmall, but the reaction was even stronger following news that the remaining residents of Rochor Centre were moving out.

Rochor Centre, with its 567 Housing Board flats in four blocks, as well as 187 shops and eating houses, will have to make way for the southern stretch of the North-South Expressway (NSE), which is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

The multicoloured hues, for which the blocks are famous, appeared only in 1994, almost 20 years after the flats were built.Fortunately for the sense of community, most of the households have since moved to Kallang Trivista.

Another building, Funan DigitaLife Mall, was closed on June 30 and has since been demolished. Owner CapitaLand Mall Trust is looking forward to the replacement, simply called Funan, which will be opened in 2019. Perhaps as a way of creating new memories early, CapitaLand Mall Trust is engaging the public with initiatives like an Instagram contest ending today.

Little can stand in the way of progress on this island starved of space, and nobody can predict which buildings will be celebrated and mourned.

But new buildings, and the tearing down of the old, drive interest in more than just the brick and mortar. Each new building promises to house fresh memories. It is up to us to decide what shape those should take.

New buildings, and the tearing down of the old, drive interest in more than just the brick and mortar. Each new building promises to house fresh memories. It is up to us to decide what shape those should take.


This article was first published on Dec 31, 2016.
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