Singapore 1924—2012
Milica Topalovic
The project Constructed Land: Singapore 1924–2012 investigates the material flows of soil and the changing physical form of the island of Singapore over time. Until today, around one quarter of the land area has been added to the surface of the island-state by means of importing sand, claiming land from the sea, reshaping of existing terrain, and dredging material from the seabed. For more than a century, the transformation of topography has accompanied the change of Singapore’s urban landscape. While this process continues at an ever-increasing pace, its scale and implications are breathtaking: The project reveals constructed land as the central paradigm of Singapore’s urban development today.

The joint research collaboration on Singapore’s constructed land came into being at an intersection of two distinctive approaches to the city: the historic and the territorial. They are represented by two teams, working as part of the ETH Zürich, DArch and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. Drawing from detailed topographic maps spanning two moments in time, 1924 and 2012, the joint project provides a meticulous description of Singapore’s transformation over the entire national territory and during a century of intensive modernisation.

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Content List

p. 11
Constructed Land

p. 13
Development dynamics and constructed land:
Singapore as a model for a purposeful deceleration?
Uta Hassler

p. 23
Topography 1924–2012

p. 51
Constructed Land
Singapore in the Century of Flattening
Milica Topalović

p. 64
Team (ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture and Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore): Prof. Dr. Uta Hassler, Assistant Prof. Milica Topalović, Prof. Dr. Armin Grün, Dr. Iris Belle, Hans Hortig, Marcel Jäggi, Martin Knüsel, Dr. Tao Wang, Tobias Wullschleger
External collaboration: Bas Princen
Students ETH Zürich: Lino Moser, Gabriela Schär
Students NUS Singapore: Pathik Gandhi, Yong Kuan, Delon Leonard, Muqiong Liao, Shaheen Nazif, Sheila Ong, Bek Tai Keng, Mayur Vichare
Publication concept and production: Architecture of Territory
Graphic concept: Goda Budvytytė
Copy-editing and proofreading: Siân Gibby, Judith Diane Weston
ISBN 978-3-906031-55-2

The project is supported by ETH Zürich Department of Architecture, Singapore-ETH Centre and Future Cities Laboratory, Network City and Landscape, and ProHelvetia.