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Gotham City

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For my final Third Space post, I asked my friend Sultan what he thinks is the most beautiful building in Singapore. His favourite building is Parkview Square, or as locals like to call it, “Gotham City”, because its architectural style resembles that of Gotham City in Batman.

Parkview Square is located close to Arab street, Sultan Mosque and Kampong Glam, and is one of the most expensive office buildings in Singapore. Sultan likes it because it stands out from the surroundings due to its elaborate and flamboyant design. The building captures the essence of Singapore as a Chinese-oriented trading port. It is tiled with modern-art-Chinese “mandala” as its building design, and a big golden crane sits in the center of the courtyard leading to the entrance of the building.

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The golden crane is said to point towards mainland China and is accompanied by an engraved Chinese poem, describing the crane’s long journey back to its temple.

The sides of the courtyard feature bronze statues of renowned thinkers, politicians and artists, such as Newton, Dali and Churchill among others. Characters from Greek mythology, notably the Titan Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders, are also displayed. It is this fusion of Eastern and Western elements that appeals the most to Sultan.

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Statues of Sun Yat-Sen, Churchill, Lincoln and Plato.

The interior of “Gotham” is even more impressive because of the elaborate ornamentation of the ceiling, the art deco bronze balconies and the classy atmosphere. Situated in the lobby of the building is a café and wine bar that has a “Gatsby” flair to it, as Sultan describes it.

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The breathtaking lobby.

For Sultan, this is the perfect place to dress vintage, sink into deep leather armchairs and sip away a drink (or two) all whilst absorbing the grandeur of the space. Entering Parkview Square is like an escape into a different world, a mythical paradise even, amidst the bustling town area.

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East meets West: Orchids, the national flower of Singapore, in a European Art Deco setting. The wine bottles are taken from the 3-storey-high cellar by a female bartender in a fairy costume lifted up by a flying wire apparatus.

Nora, Singapore

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