Raffles Hotel

Location: Beach Road, Singapore

History: Raffles Hotel encompasses a complex of buildings evolved through the years and construction periods. The Main Building was erected in 1897 – 1899 and is flanked by the older Garden Wing (1890) and Palm Court Wing (1894) and is among the oldest existing purpose-built hotel architecture in Singapore.

At the junction of Beach Road and Bras Basah Road, the Bar and Billiard Room was erected in 1890 and further expanded in 1907. The cast iron pavilion were introduced and commissioned in 1913. The Bras Basah Wing, completed in 1904, gave the hotel an urban character that departs from the beach resort typology.

The previous restoration works in 1989 – 1991 introduced the Courtyard Wing and Raffles Hotel Arcade. These buildings mimic the architecture of the older wings.

Architectural Design: Victorian Italianate Revival Style (Main Building)

Scope: We were engaged to provide consultancy for architectural and structural conservation works during the restoration and conservation of the Raffles Hotel. For the architectural works, dilapidation survey was conducted on the façade and architectural features to determine condition and this is crucial for types of repair works required. As the buildings were built at different periods, the materials differ and different repair products and methods have to be reviewed to ensure proper compatibility.

Working with structural engineer, we assessed the structure of the building, ensuring that it is not compromised. Evaluation was conducted on the masonry and concrete structures using different test methods such as compressive strength test, Ultra-sonic Pulse Velocity and Linear Polarization NDT. Ground investigation was also conducted to assess the condition of existing structural elements. This includes conducting trial pits investigations, Mackintosh test and soil compression test.

The Raffles bust was also restored, where specialized conservation materials were used to repair the cracks and incompatible patching works. To protect the bust, consolidant was applied. The bronze plaque was found to be rusty and was restored accordingly.

Link for Raffles Bust 3D Video: https://streamable.com/qbi0b

Link for further readings: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/restored-raffles-hotel-to-reopen-in-mid-2018

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