Raffles City

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Coordinates: 1°17′37″N 103°51′11″E / 1.29361°N 103.85306°E / 1.29361; 103.85306

Raffles City
Raffles City.jpg
Alternative names Raffles International Centre (initial name)
General information
Status Occupied
Type Office
shopping complex
Architectural style High-rise
Location City Hall, Downtown Core, Singapore
Owner CapitaCommercial Trust
CapitaMall Trust
Management CapitaLand
Roof 158 metres (518 ft) (office)
Technical details
Floor count 7 (retail)
42 (office)
Floor area 421,720 square feet (39,179 m2) (retail)
380,900 square feet (35,390 m2) (office)
Design and construction
Architect I. M. Pei
Architects 61
Developer Tincel Properties
Main contractor SsangYong Group
Raffles City

Raffles City is a large complex located in the Civic District within the Downtown Core of the city-state of Singapore. Occupying an entire city block bounded by Stamford Road, Beach Road, Bras Basah Road and North Bridge Road, it houses two hotels and an office tower over a podium which contains a shopping complex and a convention centre. The mall is managed by CapitaCommercial Trust and CapitaMall Trust. It was completed in 1986.

Built on the former site of Raffles Institution, the first school in Singapore, and located beside the historic Raffles Hotel, its aluminium-finish and simple geometric designs gave a stark, modernist contrast to Victorian architecture and classical architecture which used to characterise architecture in that district.

The embassy of Hungary is located on the 29th floor of the Raffles City Tower, which also houses the delegation office of the European Union.


Initial plans[edit]

The development, initially called the Raffles International Centre, was first announced in 1969, planned to cover an area stretching from the then-site of Raffles Institution up to the Cathay Building.[1] However, due to soaring costs ad a shortage of skilled workers, the plans were put on hold from 1973 to 1975.[2] However, due to cost issues, approval for construction was not given until 1979.[3] That same year, the development was renamed Raffles City,[4] and the development was shrunken to only the old Raffles Institution site.[5]


Groundbreaking on the site took place on 14 August 1980 and officially opened to the public on 3 October 1986.[citation needed] The complex was designed by I. M. Pei in one of his earliest works in the city state.[citation needed]


In the 1990s the shopping complex went under a major renovation, with a different look.[citation needed] In June 2005, the management announced that the basement section of the complex will be expanded, with 30 to 50 more shops and was completed in July 2006 with MPH Bookstores, food and beverage outlets and fashion shops occupying the extension.[citation needed] Gloria Jean's Coffees has also made a return to the country after exiting the country a few years ago. The complex is directly connected to City Hall MRT (Exit 'A") station by escalators from the building entrance and to Esplanade MRT station (Exit 'G') from Basement 2, which leads to the Esplanade Xchange and then to Marina Square.


On 1 January 2002, the two hotels were rebranded as the Swissôtel The Stamford and Raffles The Plaza (now Fairmont Singapore]) when FRHI Hotels & Resorts took over the hotels' management.

CapitaLand REITs takeover[edit]

On 19 March 2006, CapitaLand's real estate investment trust (REIT), CapitaCommercial Trust and CapitaMall Trust jointly acquired the development from Raffles Holdings for S$2.09 billion. The former will take up a 60 percent stake in the complex and the latter taking the remainder 40 percent.[6] The trusts' shareholders approved of the purchase of the complex in July 2006. The deal has been completed in August 2006 and the complex is owned by the two trusts.


On 20 August 2006, the new owners announced their plans to expand the retail space between 150,000 and 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) from its current 356,000 sq ft (33,100 m2), by using the space on the carpark floors on basements two and three. The two CapitaLand property trusts will spend S$86 million on the expansion. An underground link linking Esplanade and City Hall MRT stations opened on 15 July 2010.[7]


The complex consists of the one-time world's tallest hotel and currently the world's fourteenth tallest hotel, the 73-storey Swissôtel The Stamford, a 28-storey high-end twin-tower hotel, the Fairmont Singapore and the rectangular 42-storey Raffles City Tower, an office block.


Raffles City has several anchor tenants, such as supermarket Jason's Market Place, as well as department stores Robinsons and Marks & Spencer. M&S has opened since 2001, when Japanese departmental store Sogo vacated the space and the basement supermarket (now occupied by Jason's) in 2000 after the company ran into financial problems.[citation needed]


117 IOC Session, Singapore[edit]

The 117th IOC Session in Singapore, was held from 2 to 9 July 2005 at the Raffles City Convention Centre on the fourth floor. Security at the complex was extremely tight during the event. At the IOC Session, London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympics.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New $200 million 'heart' for city". The Straits Times. 17 October 1969. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG. 
  2. ^ "On Again - The Raffles Centre Plan". The Straits Times. 25 March 1975. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG. 
  3. ^ "Raffles Centre gets green light at last". The Straits Times. 4 February 1979. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG. 
  4. ^ Teck Weng, Teo (17 April 1979). "Beginning Of A Mini-city..." Business Times. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG. 
  5. ^ "The $600 million Raffles City". The Straits Times. 17 April 1979. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG. 
  6. ^ "CapitaLand REITs' S$2.1 Bln Purchase May Boost Scale". Bloomberg. 2006-03-20. 
  7. ^ Chan, Matthias (2006-08-21). "CMT, CCT profit to be lifted by up to 7% from Raffles City asset enhancement". Channel NewsAsia. 

External links[edit]