The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Hotels

© Sengkang

© Sengkang

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a five-star luxury hotel located near the mouth of the Singapore River, in the Downtown Core of the Central Area, Singapore. It was originally known as the Fullerton Building, and also as the General Post Office Building. The address is 1 Fullerton Square. The Fullerton Building was named after Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the Straits Settlements (1826–1829). Commissioned in 1924 as part of the British colony‘s centennial celebrations, the building was designed as an office building by Major P.H. Keys of Keys & Dowdeswell, a Shanghai firm of architects, which won the project through an architectural design competition. The architectural firm also designed the Capitol Theatre, its adjoined Capitol Building and the Singapore General Hospital.

The northern end of the building covers the site of Fort Fullerton, a fort built in 1829 to defend the settlement against any naval attacks. The fort consisted of an Artillery Barrack, a house for the officers, barracks for soldiers and a 68-pounder gun guarding the entrance to the river which used to stand on the location known as Fullerton square. In 1843, the fort was extended after a sandstone monolith, the Singapore Stone, with an inscription possibly dating back to the 13th century was demolished. The Singapore stone was, unfortunately, destroyed by the British. A fragment of this monolith was salvaged and preserved in the collection of the National Museum at Stamford Road. However, there were several criticisms as well as apprehensions regarding the building of Fort Fullerton. Merchants thought that it was a waste to use the prime location of the city for military instead of trading purpose, which would have prevented Singapore from generating more revenue and boosting its trading business. They were also worried that they would be in the direct line of fire if there were any attacks on the fort because the offices along the Singapore River were situated in close proximity to the fort. The fort was also said to be incapable of deterring any potential attacks from the sea, and had very low efficacy. Following these criticisms, the fort was finally demolished in 1873. The fort gave way to the first General Post Office and the Exchange Building in 1874. Plans to erect Fullerton Building were drawn up in 1920. However, due to a lack of funds, construction only began in February 1924. During the initial groundwork, excavations revealed the gun casements of the old Fort Fullerton. In fact, the Fullerton Building was built over reclaimed land. Built at a cost of $4.1 million and after delays of a few months, the building was completed in June 1928.

The exclusive Singapore Club rents premises on the upper floors of the building to provide for their members’ need and comfort. It only allowed entry to top European tycoons and British civil servants. There were rooms where members dined, lounged, conferred, and played billiards and cards. Bedrooms on the attic storey provide accommodation for members. When the Economic Development Board (EDB) was formed in 1961, it evicted the Singapore Club from the Fullerton Building. Subsequently, the Singapore Club relocated to Clifford House at Collyer Quay and then to Straits Trading Building on Battery Road near Boat Quay, vacating Fullerton Building for use by EDB and more government offices.

© Bob T/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0 © Marcin Konsek/cc-by-sa-4.0 The_Fullerton_Hotel_Singapore-Sengkang © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0
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© flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0
In 1997, Sino Land (Hong Kong) Company Ltd, a sister company of Far East Organization, acquired the Fullerton Building from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). It spent close to another S$300 million converting Fullerton Building into a hotel and building the two-storey commercial complex One Fullerton opposite Fullerton Road. Renovation works on the Fullerton Building were completed on 8 December 2000. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore was officially opened by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on 1 January 2001. The site, sandwiched between the Civic District and the central business district, was sold together with an underpass and the seafront site on which One Fullerton now stands for S$110 million. The two are linked by an air-conditioned underground pedestrian walkway with travellators. To ensure that the historical Fullerton Building continues to be visible from Marina Bay, URA specified a low building height for One Fullerton across the road. This also ensured that guests at The Fullerton Hotel would have unobstructed views of the sea. The Fullerton Building restoration project from 1998 to 2000 was a difficult conservation project that involved an institutional building. Architects 61, together with DP Consultants, was engaged to convert it into a 400-room luxury hotel. The hotel rooms were designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates. During its redevelopment, the historical building had most of its special architectural features retained and restored. The conservation work was coordinated by the URA, which had certain stipulations that the new owners had to comply with. Several features of the original building had to be restored faithfully. These included the General Post Office gallery area on the ground floor, with bays that corresponded with the building’s towering Doric columns on the façade, and the Straits Club Billiard Room. The post office gallery no longer exists, but has been subdivided to provide a bar, a restaurant and the hotel foyer. The Straits Club Billiard Room was kept, but without its wood panelling.

The building was officially gazetted on December 7, 2015, as Singapore’s 71st national monument, by the country’s National Heritage Board (NHB). With its new status, the building will be preserved under the Preservation of Monuments Act. The former Fullerton Building is one of three icons to be given the national monument status this year. The other two are Jurong Town Hall and Istana Kampong Glam. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has 400 rooms and suites which either overlook the atrium courtyard, or face downtown Singapore‘s skyline, the Singapore River promenade or the Marina Bay. The hotel has a 25-metre outdoor infinity swimming pool, fitness centre and a luxury spa. It also has five food and beverage outlets. For business travellers, the hotel has a 24-hour financial centre with the Bloomberg Professional service that provides financial reports and world news, and 15 meeting rooms equipped with conference facilities.

Read more on The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and Wikipedia The Fullerton Hotel Singapore (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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