Eye in the Sky - Jurong Hill Lookout Tower

The Jurong Hill Lookout Tower was developed in the early 1970s at a cost of more than $100,000. It was touted to be a “futuristic spiral tower” offering a “panoramic view of the entire industrial estate” from the viewing platform.

The 60 ft tower had played hosted to many visiting foreign dignitaries and royalties such as Vice President of United States, Spiro Agnew and the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. The top floor of the tower used to house a reception hall with models of Jurong Industrial Estate where prominent guests can be entertained. It is also the only lookout tower in Singapore to feature a restaurant at the foot of the structure. It is still in operation today.


EYE IN THE SKY

NHB embarked on its research on the four remaining Lookout Towers in Singapore to enhance existing historical and architectural understanding of these iconic landmarks which were built between the 1960s and the 1970s as “observation decks” to view Singapore’s growth and development in the areas of infrastructure, housing, industrial development and recreation.

Beyond uncovering people's memories of visiting these structures in the past, NHB’s research also delved deep into understanding the architectural influences of these structures and how the design of the towers took reference from other lookout towers which were considered futuristic and representative of Space-Age architecture popular in the 1960s and 1970s. These international references include observation towers found in Brussels, New York, Montreal and Osaka.

The four lookout towers are all built between 1969 and 1975 when Singapore underwent a period of rapid development and dramatic landscape changes. It is also an important period for a newly independent nation to build up strong diplomatic relationship with other nations. Hence these towers were also frequently visited by royalty and other dignitaries worldwide who are keen to find out about opportunities in the nascent country.

Published by
Heritage Research & Assessment, National Heritage Board
Published Year
2015