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Figs. 11 and 12: Old Greyhound Depot (late 1930s) New York, USA; Salida Train Depot (1941), Colorado, USA. (Image source: (fig. 11) http://www.lileks.com; (fig. 12) http://ghostdepot.com)

The design for airport terminals paralleled the development of civil aviation and international

flights in the 1930s, which was made

extent, necessitated by the




needs of Moderne

possible by advances in aviation technology and, to some European powers for speedier access to their far-flung style, a late variant of Art Deco, with its “wing-like”

cantilevered structures, indeed the intention for also among the world’s

particularly suited the expression of the spirit of aviation. This was the design of Singapore’s first modern civil aviation facility (which was first), the Kallang Airport Terminal (1937) (fig. 13). Designed by Frank

Dorrington Ward, Chief Architect of colonial Singapore’s Public Works outstretched wings of the building and its cantilevered balconies were meant as contemporary airplane. Besides being applied to buildings that functioned terminals, the Streamline Moderne style also extended to other building types such as residential and commercial buildings, which will be examined below.

Department, the a metaphor of the as transportation in the late 1930s,

Figs. 13 and 14: Kallang Airport Terminal (1937), Kallang, Singapore; shophouse on Keong Siak Street (1939), Bukit Pasoh (Chinatown) Conservation Area, Singapore. (Image source: (fig. 13) Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority; (fig. 14) Lee Ho Yin)

Singapore offers particularly good opportunities for examination of Streamline Moderne architecture in a former British colonial city in the Far East, as many 1930s buildings have been conserved as part of the country’s architectural heritage. The dominant architectural typology in Singapore’s conservation areas is the Singapore Shophouse, which is the term for mixed-use commercial-cum-residential buildings that were mainly built before World War II. As such, architectural conservation in that country focuses mainly on this particular building type, as can be seen in the website of Singapore’s conservation authority (which is also the planning authority), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA; http://www.ura.gov.sg, under “Conservation”).


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