The personal archives of Lim Chong Keat, part 2

In my previous post, I blogged about Lim’s anthropological collections. But the main reason for my visit to Lim’s archives is of course his architectural materials. And there are indeed plenty of materials on Lim’s architectural designs, including many previously unpublished photographs of houses he designed in the 1960s and 1970s:


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The top photo shows the interior of a house Lim designed for Dr. C. T. Chia in Singapore while the photo below is an interior view of Star Point, Lim’s house at Pasir Panjang, Singapore. I was initially surprised at the rather colourful interior shown in the second photo as I was used to seeing Lim’s early houses printed in black and white photos. In those photos, his houses appear to be rather austere and I imagined them to have rather limited palettes of colours consisting primarily of earthy colour tones and natural materials. Perhaps I was deceived by the media.

Besides these photos of houses Lim designed, there are also interesting photographs showing the study models and the design processes of his better known schemes such as the DBS Building and Komtar:


The above photo showing the study model of DBS building is rather fascinating because it also shows two other significant buildings by Lim and his collaborators in the environs of Shenton Way: the Singapore Conference Hall (SCH) and Trade Union House on the left and the Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) Building on the right. When Lim was designing the DBS Building, there was not much of an urban context for him to respond to besides the SCH building he designed at Malayan Architects Co-partnership. The photograph below taken during the construction of the tower of the DBS Building shows that close proximity between the two buildings.


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The two photographs above show the different stages of the project that was initially known as Penang Urban Center and later as Komtar. 

There are a couple of other fascinating finds, which I might blog about another day. That’s all for this post. As I have just started on this project, I would appreciate any comments and suggestions.

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