On North Bridge Road, stands Parkview Square, a grand towering monolith on an expanse of vivid green, with the doll-sized shop houses of Kampong Glam on one side and the squat grey blocks of Bugis Junction on the other. Aptly described by one critic as “art deco meets Gotham City”, it harnesses classical deco flourish to bold, powerful, futuristic lines.
Parkview Square was the swan song of Taiwanese Tycoon, Mr C.S. Hwang, chairman of the Chyu Fwu Group, who, for his last project, wanted something “imposing and monumental, yet stylish and elegant”
Designed by American Architect James Adams in partnership with DP Architects of Singapore, the $87.93 million edifice was inspired by New York’s 1929 Chanin Building.
The streamlined exterior of Parkview Square is clad in brown granite, bronze lacquer and glass. It is heavily ornamented with motifs and sculptures. Gargoyles keep watch over its walls and four massive fibreglass men, holding light balls, stand guard on the points of its roof. The building sits in a Venetian-style piazza, ringed by statues of inspirational world leaders and artists, including Sun Yat Sen, Abraham Lincoln, Salavador Dali, Mozart, Chopin, Isaac Newton, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Plato, Dante, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein.
In the centre of Parkview Square’ Courtyard is a statue of a mythological golden crane, a talisman of prosperity for the building. A Chinese poem on the pedestal describes the bird’s return to its temple in Hubei.
Inside, Parkview Square’s cavernous 15 metre high lobby has art deco pillars, balconies in cast bronze, walls with murals and ceilings with frescos in art nouveau style. But despite the stunning décor, centre stage in the lobby is seized by the Divine Wine Society Bar’s Gotham City-scale, 3 storey wine chiller.
Primarily, Parkview Square is an office block, which seems me rather a pedestrian purpose for a building which speaks so volubly of boundless creativity and limitless skies. But then, who knows what inspired visions and bold dreams are born on those infinitely re-configurable floors?