Jurong Town Hall to be gazetted as national monument

SINGAPORE – The Jurong Town Hall will be gazetted on June 2 as Singapore’s 69th national monument, the National Heritage Board (NHB) said on Monday.

Jurong Town Hall joins a growing list of post-war buildings that have been preserved for posterity. The list includes the Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator, St Andrew's Cathedral, Sri Mariamman Temple, Raffles Hotel, Victoria Theatre, Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque and many other historically significant structures.

In a statement, NHB said that Jurong Town Hall will be gazetted as "it stands as an iconic testimony to Singapore’s drive towards modernisation and development in its early years of independence".

Constructed between May 1971 and March 1974, Jurong Town Hall once served as the headquarters of the Jurong Town Corporation, which is now known as JTC. JTC played a leading role in developing Singapore’s first industrial estate and is considered to have spearheaded Singapore’s industrialisation drive.

Jurong Town Hall is the seventh post-war structure gazetted as a National Monument.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had earlier awarded it conservation status on November 25, 2005.

After being gazetted, the building will be preserved as a national monument by the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM) division under NHB, in conjunction with Jurong Town Hall’s 40th anniversary. This means that the Jurong Town Hall and its intrinsic historic features will be accorded the highest level of legal protection.

The gazette of Jurong Town Hall will be the first time that NHB is gazetting a conserved building as a National Monument.

As a National Monument, Jurong Town Hall will be protected by preservation guidelines instead of conservation guidelines, and will undergo a regular cycle of inspections to ensure its proper upkeep.

The decision to gazette Jurong Town Hall was made after very careful assessment of its historical significance, architectural merit and current condition.

Ms Jean Wee, Director of the PSM division, NHB, says, “Jurong Town Hall was built in the first decade of nation building in Singapore, specifically, when we were in our nascent years of industrialisation. This landmark was the work of a pioneering team of local architects."

The Jurong Town Hall was built in the early 1970s based on the winning entry submitted by local firm Architects Team 3 in an architectural design competition. The futuristic building consists of two elongated parallel blocks of unequal length connected by bridges. It is reminiscent of a ship, with a 50-metre high digital clock tower serving as the 'mast'.

In March 2015, JTC announced that the Jurong Town Hall will house the new Trade Association Hub that is slated to open in early 2017, with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry coming on board as the anchor chamber.