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Concourse Complex, (Beach Road I) Singapore, 1981-1993


“The fifteen-year history of the Concourse began in 1979 when Rudolph, in association with developer Hong Fok Investment Holding Company, won the competition to develop the site. Initially called Beach Road I, the first scheme went into construction in 1981. But four years later, with the substructures in place and the lower levels partly completed, the project came to a halt due to a recession in the local economy. Then in 1987, the developer asked Rudolph to design a second scheme, in keeping with the initial construction but accommodating a new distribution of the building program. In the first scheme the program was divided into three equal parts: one third office, one third residential, and one third commercial. In the second scheme the program requirements called for seventy percent office, fifteen percent residential hotel, and fifteen percent commercial retail space. In 1989 construction resumed.
With this second chance, Rudolph was able to rethink the character of the entire project, specifically that of the tower. He chose an octagonal plan for the tower, in keeping with local traditions [the number eight has connotations of happiness and well-being]. As in all of Rudolph’s tall buildings in Southeast Asia, the base of the Concourse tower is highly articulated: vertical structure exposed, the ground level shaken into many levels of activity, and the intricate body of the tower made up of highly developed clusters of units.
Ribbon windows, sunshades, and protruding eaves create a strong horizontal rhythm of light and shadow, which help unify the diverse elements of the complex.”
De Alba, Roberto. Paul Rudolph: The Late Work. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003. P. 114.

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