SINGAPORE: A bigger portion of the historic Ellison Building in Selegie will be retained during the construction of the North-South Corridor, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in a joint news release on Tuesday (Feb 13). 

In an earlier plan, the corner unit of the conserved structure was to be torn down to facilitate works, then rebuilt. But the revised plan will seek to preserve as much of the unit as possible.

The bay with the cupola – a significant rooftop architectural feature – and three-quarters of the corner unit’s facade panels will be retained, said the agencies. 

Only the panel that directly intersects with the North-South Corridor tunnel will be removed during construction. “This is necessary for the safe access of machinery,” said the joint release.

A diagram of the affected corner unit in Ellison Building. (Photo: LTA, URA)

After tunnelling works are completed, the affected unit will be reconstructed. 

“Other historic elements that are moveable, such as the original timber window frames and the metal building nameplate, will be temporarily removed and stored carefully for reinstatement in the future,” said LTA and URA.

They added that details of this new plan will be included in construction tender for this section of the North-South Corridor, a major expressway that will connect towns in the northern region to the city. 

An artist’s impression of the North-South Corridor along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. (Image: Land Transport Authority)

The revised plan came about after close consultation with heritage groups which had expressed concern over the impact on the building, which stands at the junction of Selegie Road and Bukit Timah Road. 

Despite extensive engineering studies, authorities said the unit will still be affected. 

“The engineering team had to take into account the existing Downtown Line and North-East Line MRT tunnels and stations, the heavily built-up corridor lined with residential and commercial buildings, as well as the Rochor Canal,” said the joint release.

They added that because the revised plan requires “significantly more complex” engineering works, measures will be put in place to ensure safety during the construction process and that the structural integrity of the North-South Corridor is not compromised.

The contract for construction of this section is expected to be awarded by the third quarter of this year.

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