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Everton Park: The Role of Public Housing in the Curation of a Heritage Landscape

Chua Shu-Min, Ynez

- Adj. Asst. Prof. Ho Weng Hin


In Singapore, post-independent public housing is rarely perceived as built heritage, including Everton Park, a HDB estate which formerly served as housing for laborious port workers. Everton Park is of heritage significance in the landscape of Tanjong Pagar’s port. The housing estate represents the modernist and social achievements of laborious port workers who contributed to the commercial success of Singapore’s port.

This thesis explores the role and response of modern public housing, in the curation of Tanjong Pagar as a heritage landscape of industrial relations for port workers. Using Everton Park as a vehicle, this thesis attempts to demonstrate the high potential for public estates to celebrate its difficult historical past while being a livable, regenerated estate that is socially integrated into its precinct and larger landscape, enabling public housing to serve as a complementary layer to a more inclusive heritage landscape.

“The port heritage landscape of Tanjong Pagar consists of work­er’s housing of various hierarchies, including Everton Park. The submerged history of Everton Park include difficult narratives surrounding port workers which should be revealed and celebrated as part of creating an inclusive history.”

The Landscape Narrative

The heritage landscape is proposed to be thematically curated in three types of heritage areas: Alive, Ageless and Assemble.

Revealing Port Histories, Social Regeneration and Integration

The regenerated Everton Park is envisioned to celebrate the historical industrial relations of port workers while serving as a social integrator of surrounding residential communities.

Links to history are made manifest through re-programming a section of the estate to feature a heritage gallery for its industrial past. Gestures to regenerate the estate include drawing diverse communities to engage and revitalizing the back, inward-looking spaces of Everton Park.


Supervisor's comments:

What meaningful role can an aged public housing neighbourhood play in the curation and presentation of a ‘heritage landscape’? The scheme proposes that Everton Park, once a residential enclave of workers who have been the backbone of Singapore’s world-renown port and entrepôt economy, deserves to be refashioned as a commemorative site to honour their silent contribution and (silenced) social activism during the turbulent era of anti-colonialism and nation-building. It poses pertinent questions of how submerged, difficult histories can be reconciled, through strategic architectural and programmatic interventions.

- Adj. Asst. Prof. Ho Weng Hin
Chua Shu-Min, Ynez

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