Building Dreams (2003)

Building Dreams is a six episode series about Singapore Architecture commissioned by Arts Central in 2003. Each episode is 24 min. This first episode, directed by Tan Pin Pin, focuses on the birth of the architectural profession as well as colonial and nationalist buildings and the architects behind them.

Catch rare archival footage and photographs of the Singapore Conference Hall, the National Theatre, the construction of the Supreme Court.

The filmmakers were also given rare access into the See Guan Chiang House, designed by one of the first Singapore architects, Ho Kwong Yew, when reinforced concrete was all the rage then.


Jon Lim – on the first Singapore architect, Ho Kwong Yew, who received his licence in 1927 and Ng Keng Siang, the architect behind Nanyang University and AIA Building
Alfred Wong – on the National Theatre and the break with the colonial architecture society and the formation of the Malayan Society of Architects, the predecessor of the Singapore Institute of Architects
Lim Chong Keat – on the birth of Singapore’s first Architecture School at the Singapore Polytechnic and the design of Singapore Conference Hall
Ho Kok Hoe – Son of Ho Kwong Yew


Researcher & Writer: Ho Weng Hin and Tan Kar Lin
Produced by William Lim and Choon Hiong of Xtreme Productions.
Narrated by Lim Kay Tong
Edited by Gek Li San
Commissioned by Arts Central
Episode 1 & 6 directed by Tan Pin Pin

Building Dreams was Telecast in 2002. The series is available for viewing at the National University of Singapore Library as well as the National Library (Lee Kong Chian Reference Library)

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Image above: Ho Kwong Yew (approx 1936) The Sim Guan Chiang House, roof garden detail, off Grange Road