Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Clifford Pier had to be adapted

I THANK Mr Thomas Toh for his letter last Tuesday, ‘Restore Clifford Pier to new glory’, in which he reminisced about the bumboats that used to ply Clifford Pier.

Following the construction of the Marina Barrage, bumboats and other commercial vessels now operate from Marina South Pier. There are still small boats, water taxis and cruise boats that will ply Marina Bay to ferry visitors to and from the developments, including The Fullerton Heritage.

We agree with Mr Toh that Clifford Pier has played a significant role in Singapore’s maritime history. Given its historical and architectural value, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) conserved the building in 2007.

As Clifford Pier no longer serves its original function as a pier for commercial vessels, the building had to be adapted for reuse to remain relevant and useful.

In addition to its heritage value, Clifford Pier is strategically located along the Marina Bay waterfront, and forms part of Singapore’s postcard signature skyline. URA’s vision was to transform this stretch of the waterfront at Collyer Quay, comprising Clifford Pier and the former Customs Harbour Branch Building, into a distinctive waterfront development.

To achieve this, in 2006, the Collyer Quay site was sold for a commercial and hotel development. The successful tenderer decided to give Clifford Pier a new lease of life by adapting it as a restaurant.

URA worked closely with the successful tenderer and his architect to retain the intrinsic and beautiful character of Clifford Pier. They were guided to keep part of the site open as a public plaza, allow public access along the decks around the edge of the development, and provide a passageway within the development for the public to directly access the waterfront and enjoy views across the bay.

These developments at Collyer Quay form part of the necklace of attractions along the 3.5km waterfront promenade at Marina Bay. When fully completed later this year, visitors will be able to enjoy a continuous scenic walk along the waterfront from Clifford Pier to the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, the new bridge and art park, the floating platform and the Esplanade.

Fun Siew Leng (Madam)
Group Director (Urban Planning & Design)
Urban Redevelopment Authority

Source: Straits Times, 30 Mar 2010

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