Asia Insurance Building
Asia Insurance Building, also known as the A. I. Building, is located at 2 Finlayson Green. It was opened on 10 December 1955 with 18 floors at a height of 87 m. It was the tallest building in Southeast Asia when it was completed in 1954, and the first to exceed Cathay Building's claim to height in Singapore. It houses the Asia Insurance, a local company incorporated on 11 July 1923.
Prior to the erection of the Asia Insurance Building, the site was occupied by the Union Insurance of Canton. This later moved to its own building in Collyer Quay in 1924. After the move, the site was occupied by the South British Insurance Company before the building was pulled down to make way for the grand Asia Insurance Building. This building was easily recognised from a distance with its distinctive lines and horizontal sunshades.
Design and Use
It was designed by one of Singapore's pioneer architects, Ng Keng Siang. A member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Ng designed the building after the prevailing Modern Movement. He also exhibited a strong liking for eclectic architectural styles. Completed in 1954, the foundation stone was laid by Commissioner-General Malcolm MacDonald on 19 June 1953. In the early years, the building used its excellent location to its best advantage. In 1955, a colossal banner celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth was put up.
In 2006, the Ascott Group bought over the building at a price of $109.5 million, with plans to turn it into a service apartment property.
Renuka M. & Ong Eng Chuan
Dunlop, P. K. G. (2000). Street Names of Singapore. Singapore: Who's Who.
(Call no.:R SING 959.57 DUN)
Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1996). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 EDW)
Tyers, R. (1993). Ray Tyers' Singapore: Then and now. Singapore: Landmark Books.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE)
Asia Building opened [Microfilm: NL 3733]. (1955, December 11). Sunday Times, p.1.
Ya zhou bao xian da sha kai mu [Microfilm: NL 5400]. (1955, Decemebr 10). Sin Chew Jit Poh, p.5.
Ya zhou bao xian da sha luo cheng ji nian te kan [Microfilm: NL 2713]. (1955, December 10). Nanyang Siang Pau.
Teo, J. (2006, July 5). Ascott buys 2 prime properties for $218m in expansion drive. The Straits Times. Retrieved on January 14, 2011, from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2007 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
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