Our Bugis-Bras Basah guided walking tour themed “Past Perfect, Present Perfect” is a 90 minutes walk down Victoria Street and Queen Street, a neighbourhood that is both steeped in heritage and alive with new developments. See architecture through the lens of time.

 Image: Kurt Kueh.

Image: Kurt Kueh.

On two historic streets named after Queen Victoria that have been earmarked by urban planners for redevelopment, we'll discuss Singapore's rapidly shifting street scape and the hidden forces shaping it. Chat with your new-found friends about the architecture features and human stories of seven buildings, including some of the oldest schools in Singapore.

We thoroughly enjoyed this walk and would have happily gone on for longer. You did well with your presentation and choice of route.
— Sharon and Christophe

From malls to churches, from conserved schools to rebuilt offices, rediscover the area covering Queen Street, Victoria Street, Middle Road and Waterloo Street:

  • Two to three projects designed by the homegrown architecture practice WOHA: Bugis+ Mall, Bras Basah MRT and School of the Arts.
  • A physical hub for all things design-related, transformed by SCDA Architects from a school: National Design Centre (previously St. Anthony's Convent).
  • An award-winning development from DP Architects in 1995 that blends a mall, a hotel and an office block, and also old-style shophouses with new mid-rise blocks: Bugis Junction
  • A freshly refurbished building that preserves the religious history of the neighbourhood: CANA The Catholic Centre
  • The new kid on the block: China Cultural Centre

Check out our upcoming architecture walking tour dates.

We love Bugis - Bras Basah for the colourful past lives: kampungs (villages), notorious tourist attraction, the European slice of town and the heart of Catholic schools. Today it is heavily marketed as an "arts, culture, learning and entertainment district," while the religious centres of temples, churches and a synagogue remain active. Home to buildings that range from the controversial to the beloved and the conserved, Bugis and Bras Basah inspire conversations on how architecture and urban planning are impacted by time.

We're casual and beginner friendly:

  • Prior knowledge of architecture is not required - we explain everything from the basics
  • We always start our tour with a friendly group introduction. Come make some new friends!
  • The group size is limited to 8, to ensure quality interaction
  • The walk is designed to engage the audience with a casual dialogue instead of only the walk leader talking
  • This walk is not led an architect, but an enthusiast of architecture

Shelter and accessibility:

  • We walk mostly on busy pedestrian sidewalks, but route is generally flat, wide and straight. Queen Street (the main stretch we'll be on) has mostly one lane each direction and therefore relatively fewer cars than the neighbouring roads.
  • Limited shelter: bring your umbrella, shades and sunscreen.

Duration:

  • Approximately 90 minutes, including 60 minutes of walking.
  • For optional extension to School of the Arts (SOTA), add approximately 30 minutes.

Wish to join a tour?