Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/224083
Title: RE-THINKING ICONICITY � AN ANALYSIS OF NGEE ANN CITY AT ORCHARD ROAD
Authors: SEOW YONG WEE DANNIE
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master (Architecture)
Kazuhiro Nakajima
2015/2016 Aki DT
Iconic
Iconic Architecture
Meaning
Ngee Ann City
Orchard Road
Life
Phenomenon
Place
Responsible
Issue Date: 7-Jan-2016
Citation: SEOW YONG WEE DANNIE (2016-01-07). RE-THINKING ICONICITY � AN ANALYSIS OF NGEE ANN CITY AT ORCHARD ROAD. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In our current era, iconic architecture has brought success to some cities by attracting visitors and contribute to its economic growth. Through the “Bilbao effect”, many developers could see the economic logic of the aesthetic significance being applied to buildings, and this approach is prevalence in the design for shopping malls; as a strategy to increase visitorship. This can be seen along Orchard Road with majority of the malls undergone major addition and alteration works to attract visitors with unprecedented pace and frequency. The aim of this paper is to study the notion of an icon in architecture, defining what really makes a building iconic by dissecting its architectural features. However, it is necessary to highlight that not all features are relevant in the development of an iconic building but to understand the building in totality, it is essential to dissect these features. Ngee Ann City (NAC) is being used as a case study since it is the only commercial building that manage to resist the influences of the iconic trend without undergoing any addition and alteration (A&A) works despite intense competition from surrounding malls through its architecture. A field study was done to understand the background and identify the attributes that enables this piece of architecture to withstand the test of time. After multiple attempts, Raymond Woo the architect who designed NAC is not contactable to share his experience and knowledge about his work. Thus, personal interpretations and comparison with other buildings having similar design strategies and techniques were done as an attempt to explain the architectural intent. Requests of building plans and any related drawings were rejected due to what NAC claimed as “security concerns”. Hence, building plans in this paper were extracted from fire escape plans found at lift lobbies and site survey. While every effort was made to be as close to the as-built conditions as possible, some discrepancies are inevitable due to the scale of the building. Economic and capitalists notions of iconic architecture will not be discussed in detail to concentrate on its built form so as not to divert from the focus of this paper. Also, as this is a Chinese owned building with its architecture depicted with oriental influence, Feng Shui related design elements will not be analysed since the aim is to focus on the iconic nature of a building, not its symbols. Lastly, the paper will end with theories by Christian Norberg-Schulz on what he described as a meaningful place to explain how his theories may be applied to an iconic architecture, in this case, the architecture of a shopping mall.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/224083
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