Pearl Bank Apartments

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Pearl Bank Apartments
Pearl Bank Apartments 2, Dec 05.jpg
General information
Status Complete
Type Residential
Architectural style Brutalist architecture
Location Chinatown, Outram, Singapore
Coordinates 1°16′59.4″N 103°50′22.4″E / 1.283167°N 103.839556°E / 1.283167; 103.839556Coordinates: 1°16′59.4″N 103°50′22.4″E / 1.283167°N 103.839556°E / 1.283167; 103.839556
Owner Hock Seng Enterprises
Management Hock Seng Enterprises
Technical details
Floor count 38

Pearl Bank Apartments (Chinese: 珍珠苑; pinyin: Zhēnzhū yuàn) is a high-rise private residential building on Pearl's Hill in Outram, near the Chinatown of Singapore.

As the tallest and densest residential building in Singapore when completed in 1976, Pearl Bank Apartments was one of Singapore's pioneers of high-rise, high-density living, and influenced urban development in Singapore and other cities in southeast Asia.[1]



The Pearl Bank Apartments was the first all-housing project to be undertaken in the Urban Renewal Department of the Housing and Development Board's Sale of Sites programme. The residential project was the subject of the programme's third sale in 1969.

With a height of 113 m (371 ft),[2][3] the Pearl Bank Apartments was the tallest residential building in Singapore when it was completed in June 1976.

Planned redevelopment of site[edit]

On 4 August 2007, the Pearl Bank Apartments which is located on a 8,000 m2 (86,000 sq ft), 99-year leasehold site was put up for an en bloc sale.[4][5][6] The tender closed on 18 September 2007, but fetched no bids. Another tender closed on February 19, 2008, failing again, and the collective sale agreement lapsed on August 1, 2008.[7]

Sale of site[edit]

On 13 February 2018, Pearl Bank Apartments was sold enbloc to CapitaLand for $728 million in a collective sale. [8]


The architecture of the building is observed to be Brutalism[9], a popular architectural style in the 1970s.

The Pearl Bank Apartments is a 38-storey hollow ¾ cylindrical tower, resembling a horseshoe, designed for a total occupancy of 1,500 persons. When completed in 1976, the building had the largest number of apartments contained in a single block, and had the highest density of any private modern residential building at 1,853 persons per hectare. It was designed by Singaporean architect Tan Cheng Siong of Archurban Architects Planners.

The 272-unit apartment block comprises three types of split-level units — 48 two-bedroom (130 m2 (1,400 sq ft)), 184 three-bedroom (176.5 m2 (1,900 sq ft)) and 40 four-bedroom (213.7 m2 (2,300 sq ft)) dwellings, with eight units to each floor — and an additional eight penthouses. There is a shopping area with seven units on the first storey, and the building has a four-storey carpark. The 28th storey is devoted for community use, known as the "Sky Park".

The effect of the split-level architectural approach in the spatial planning is expressed as an important facet of the building. Each apartment unit is further zoned into "public" and "private" areas to offer maximum exclusivity and views to the occupants. The utilities and service areas are located at the rear of the apartments, overlooking the building's central courtyard, to avoid any obstruction of the view. The opening in the circular structure faces west and minimises direct penetration of heat and light from the afternoon sun into the building. The slits in the circula slab also allow for effective ventilation into the internal courtyard.

The building's structure comprises ten radiating shear walls, which also serve as party walls between the units. These elements, along with the additional structural columns and lift cores, follow the radial form of the building and enhances the façade. Shanghai plaster is used on the outer rim of the building and painted plastered walls on the inner rim.

Originally unpainted, with the raw concrete visible, the building was painted cream with orange details in 2008.


  1. ^ "When completed at 38-storeys in 1976 it was the tallest residential building in Singapore. Mr. Tan described how Pearl Bank influenced the subsequent high-rise/high-density urban development in Singapore and other cities in Southeast Asia" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  2. ^ "Pearl Bank Apartments". SkyscraperPage. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  3. ^ "Pearl Bank Apartments". Emporis Buildings. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  4. ^ Jennifer Chen (29 May 2007). "A chapter of Singapore's architectural history is at risk". International Herald Tribune. 
  5. ^ Tay Suan Chiang (5 August 2007). "Goodbye Famous 5?: Welcome to my horse shoe". The Sunday Times. 
  6. ^ Joyce Teo (7 August 2007). "Mitre Hotel site, iconic building up for sale". The Straits Times. 
  7. ^ pearlbankapartments :: No Enblock !
  8. ^
  9. ^


External links[edit]