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Darishini Thiyagarajan
Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

Singapore

Queen of street art: URA unveils revamp of historical road

The New Paper | Darishini Thiyagarajan | Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

URA unveils 18-month revamp of historical road

The makeover of Queen Street to sharpen its arts identity is now complete.

Said a URA spokesman: "There's a large concentration of arts users in this area... (this) will help them hold events in these open spaces."

The work, completed in 18 months, was carried out over a 650m stretch, and pavements were widened by up to 5m.

Kerbside carparks also made room for wider pavements and safer road crossings.

Mr David Tan, who works with his father at the family auto parts shop, Thian Seng Motors, for close to two decades, said the area has seen several changes.

The building on Queen Street where his shop was called Waterloo Auto Centre, said Mr Tan, 44.

He said: "Waterloo Auto Centre was named after the war and people used to come here only for auto parts.

"Now, it's more of a tourist area because of the museums and arts schools around the area, people come here just to walk around the place."

While the change in environment has been visually appealing, the widening of pavements and the launch of Artsplace, a new public space to stage art events right outside Waterloo Centre, has affected his business, Mr Tan says.

Without loading and unloading bays by the building entrance, some customers find it inconvenient.

The Artsplace and the expanded sidewalk in front of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) will be part of the Singapore Night Festival that will start today.

Visitors can now enjoy an interactive 3D "jigsaw puzzle" outside the Waterloo Centre.

They can assemble three sets of large foam pieces designed to look like old playground structures: Toa Payoh's dragon, Tampines' watermelon and Pasir Ris' elephant.

The play space will be open at Arts­place from today until the end of this month.

darit@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Aug 22, 2014.
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