When we look at the resurgence and debate on the importance of conservation in Singapore, the closure of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in 2011 often comes to mind.
From its astounding architecture, stories of migrant journeys, to the famous M.Hasan chapatti, there was something about the station that resided in the memories of many Singaporeans, even before businesses from cafes to merchandising made nostalgia commercially popular.
Yet unlike many other significant conservation landmarks in Singapore, Tanjong Pagar Railway station has benefited from the creative use of this interim space that has yet to be earmarked for future redevelopment by the Singapore Land Authority.
From fashion shows, art exhibitions and most recently a pop-up Flea Market titled Your Happier Hour, events that once would not have been associated with the station have taken place without much compromise to the cultural and architectural integrity of the station.
Yes the events may have little relevance to the context of what the station used to represent, but such instances are great examples of how alternative usage can be used to promote a newfound understanding towards the importance of conservation.
Take a look at it this way, for all the selfies/groupfies taken by eager individuals, one would have to walk the former railway tracks or understand the linear layout of the columns if they wanted to feature something that was Instagram worthy.