Six BTO projects comprising 5,000 flats to be built in Mount Pleasant; first launch in 2025
Six buildings within the Old Police Academy will be retained and integrated into the new estate.
SINGAPORE: The first Build-to-Order (BTO) project in the upcoming Mount Pleasant housing estate will be launched in 2025, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Thursday (Jul 13).
This will be one of six BTO projects comprising about 5,000 flats planned for the 33ha site, which is close to Bukit Brown and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The new Mount Pleasant housing estate was first announced in November 2021, with the area home to the Old Police Academy and pre-war black-and-white bungalows.
Heritage elements from the Old Police Academy and pre-war black-and-white bungalows will be “sensitively integrated” within the Mount Pleasant housing estate, said HDB, adding that six buildings within the Old Police Academy will be retained.
OLD POLICE ACADEMY BLOCKS TO BE PART OF ESTATE
Among the six buildings, four blocks – Blocks 1, 2, 27 and 28 – will be retained within the new estate and “adapted for contemporary purposes”. Part of the Old Police Academy's parade square will also be kept as an open space, said HDB.
The two remaining blocks outside the estate – Blocks 13 and 153 – have also been identified for “proposed conservation”, it added. Block 153 will remain as the Senior Police Officers’ Mess, while Block 13 will be studied further to assess its future use.
HDB said these six buildings had been assessed to be the "most representative" of the police’s historical, social and architectural heritage in the Mount Pleasant area.
An OPA Workgroup, chaired by Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, also recommended heritage elements such as the trusses of the old drill shed and starter blocks of a 50m by 30m Olympic sized-swimming pool to be preserved and incorporated into the estate.
The old drill shed, one of the earliest buildings to be constructed in the OPA, was designed as an outdoor training space, and used for events and activities such as foot drills, medal ceremonies and band performances.
“HDB will explore how it can weave these elements into the design of the new housing estate in a sensitive manner. For example, the swimming pool starter blocks could be re-purposed as street furniture, giving them a new lease of life,” it said.
“Specifically for Mount Pleasant, studies and engagements began in 2018, seven years before the launch of the first BTO project in 2025."
HDB added that for buildings or spaces that cannot be retained due to development needs or technical constraints, it will still retain and keep its heritage significance.
This will be done by referencing their architectural elements in the new developments and incorporating certain physical elements as street furniture or markers.
HERITAGE CONSULTANCY FIRM TO GUIDE EFFORTS
Studio Lapis, a heritage consultancy firm, has been appointed by HDB to advise on how to salvage, store and maintain heritage items while the Old Police Academy site is cleared.
It will carry out inspections and surveys of the old drill shed to identify defects in the architectural and structural components, followed by a feasibility study to determine if the trusses can be reused as structural elements in the future.
Some road names were also proposed by the Old Police Academy workgroup to “enhance the distinctiveness and identity of the Mount Pleasant estate, said HDB, adding that the names were endorsed by the Street and Building Names Board (SBNB) in May this year.
The approved names by SBNB are as follows:
- Mt Pleasant Avenue (key east-west road leading from Thomson Road)
- Old Police Academy Road (curved road over the Mt Pleasant Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Station)
- Onraet Road (proposed road linking to the Pan Island Expressway)
- Wong Chin Yoke Road (smaller road near Blocks 1 and 2 within the OPA).
As the new estate sits on a brownfield site, HDB noted that it might need to relocate existing users, clear existing structures, and divert underground services such as cables and sewers.
It added that land preparation and infrastructure works may take three to five years, depending on the complexity of the new development site.
“More details on the Mount Pleasant housing estate will be shared when ready,” said HDB.
Chan, R. (2023, July 14). Six BTO projects comprising 5,000 flats to be built in Mount Pleasant; first launch in 2025. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/mount-pleasant-bto-hdb-project-flats-launch-2025-old-police-academy-3626811