21 Apr 2017
Ever wondered how Singapore’s landscape has changed over the years? With a presence on this island since 1988, our company has grown and developed alongside this little red dot for the past 29 years.
In fact, Frasers Centrepoint Singapore’s portfolio consists of over 21,000 homes built and sold in Singapore, 12 shopping malls, and 10 office and business spaces today, which got us thinking about the role our buildings have played in Singapore’s evolution over the decades.
Do you know the history behind the iconic red pyramid roof on one of Anchorpoint’s buildings?
In our Then and Now series, we dig deep to uncover the charismatic past of places in this rapidly growing city-state. First on the list is one of our earliest developments, Anchorpoint, and the intriguing story behind its iconic red pyramid roof.
Anchorpoint’s brewing past
Anchorpoint is located within Queenstown. The estate was named by the British after Queen Elizabeth II and was actually a “colony suburb” developed by the British to solve Chinatown’s overcrowding problem in the 1950s. (Source)
An aerial view showing Anchor Brewery at Alexandra Road in the 1950s. Bels Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore
Today’s Anchorpoint Shopping Centre is an eye-catching development in the cosy neighbourhood and features a clean white, red-trimmed two-storey bungalow-style building with a high-hipped and almost pyramidal roof.
Anchorpoint’s red-roofed building functioned as the brew master’s office during the development’s past beer brewing days. This building was gazetted for conservation in February 1993.
This unique building was actually part of Singapore’s second brewery, the former Archipelago Brewery Company at Alexandra Road. It was on a Saturday morning in November 1933 that the brewery complex was built to produce the well-known light pilsner called Anchor Beer.
The complex, which comprised the main factory, brew master house, canning line and a warehouse, could produce 450,000 gallons of beer a year. Fraser and Neave, Limited Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore
The building was designed by Heinrich Rudold Arbenz with an “early Arts & Craft style of the 1920s and 1930s” which was a style rarely seen in Singapore. (Source)
Features like geometric patterns, pyramid-shaped roofs and red-trimming hint at Anchorpoint’s unique history and makes the intriguing collection of buildings stand out, even today.
Beer brewing was carried out at the brewery’s main plant where Anchorpoint Shopping Centre now stands. Bottled beer was then transported via a conveyor belt across an overhead bridge to the canning line, where IKEA now stands.
The Archipelago Brewery Company was known for its employee welfare and good work culture, and jobs there were sought-after by people in the early days.
The site on Alexandra Road was chosen because of its proximity to the Malayan Railway, which provided convenient transportation for the export of the beer, and it was also close to the brewery’s main clientele: the British military personnel stationed around Alexandra, Ayer Rajah and Tanglin.
Interestingly, the story took a turn during the Asia-Pacific War, in the 1940s, when the Japanese Army ordered Dai-Nippon Breweries to produce beer at the brewery till the 1950s.
Production of beer ceased in 1990 when operations were relocated to Tuas. The original site, together with the canning line and warehouse, made way for redevelopment in 1993 while the two-storey building stands today as the only reminder of the old Anchor Brewery gazetted for conservation on 12 February 1993.
The conserved building is now part of Anchorpoint and houses the newly opened Korean barbecue restaurant, Bukang Korean BBQ & Seafood. Besides Alexandra, Queenstown, and surrounding precincts, the mall also serves the residents of integrated residential property, The Anchorage, developed by Frasers Centrepoint Singapore in 1993.
Anchorpoint is also known for it’s outlet concept where one can find all their favourite products at great prices from brands such as Pedro, Charles & Keith, Cotton On and Billabong.
Today, Anchorpoint has grown into a destination for shoppers looking for unique brands such as Thirsty Beer Shop, which sells some of the world’s favourite craft beers and Mmmm!, a deli specialising in high quality, air flown wagyu steaks for example.
So explore Anchorpoint and the rest of the intriguing Queenstown estate, and remember to pay special attention to the red-roofed bungalow and the unique story it houses within.
For more information about Anchorpoint, visit www.FrasersCentrepointMalls.com.