Singapore Tropicana: The Endless Umbrella
Project by Victoria Thong
Preceding Outlaw: Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
Completed in 1981 by Chee Soon Wah Architects, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre is a 22-storey fully air conditioned complex along Upper Bukit Timah Road. The podium (1978) consists of seven shopping floors, a Chinese emporium supermarket, the Gala Cinema and a seven storey car park while the two towers (1981) accommodate fourteen floors of residential units including a penthouse each on the top floor. Together with Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Plaza, Vukit Timah Shopping Centre flanks the main traffic artery of the Upper Bukit Timah Road towards Johor, theming the area as a popular recreation and retail destination. Currently, the strata-titled management structure consists of small businesses such as maid agencies and construction companies, while the cinema has been converted into an auditorium now owned by a church and rented out as a multipurpose convention centre. The tower now consists of strictly office or commercial spaces, while the church office occupies the penthouse unit. While these programmatic changes occur on a small scale, the structure remains largely unchanged from its conception.