The Architect Behind the Iconic People’s Park Complex, Tay Kheng Soon

Tay Kheng Soon is the founder and principal partner of the architect firm, Akitek Tenggara.

In the span of his career, he was responsible for many iconic buildings around Singapore. Some of these include (but not limited to) People’s park Complex, Golden Mile Complex and KK Woman’s and Children hospital.

He was president of the Singapore Institute of Architects (1991-1993); the founding member and chairman of the Singapore Planning and Urban Research Group (1970-1971); chairman of The Substation and founding member of DP Architects (1967-1974).

On the side, he is an adjunct architecture professor at the National University of Singapore.

In this conversation, we spoke about

  • Kheng Soon’s backpacking experience in the 1960s
  • Kheng Soon’s encounter with our late PM Lee Kuan Yew
  • The relationship between architecture and politics

If you’ve only got 2 minutes, here’s a short video on (The “Funny” Generation of Architects)



Click “continue reading” for the link and show notes…


Show Notes
Tay Kheng Soon on his childhood [0:01:27]
Why did Kheng Soon decide to study architecture? [0:12:27]
What did Kheng Soon learn from Singapore Poly in the 1960s? [0:22:57]
Tay Kheng Soon share thoughts on how architecture is taught in school today? [0:28:07]
What does architecture mean to Kheng Soon’s students? [0:47:08]
What does architecture mean to Kheng Soon? [0:50:37]
Tay Kheng Soon shares advice for young architects [0:54:22]
Why did Kheng Soon start Singapore Planning and Urban Research (SPUR)? [1:06:43]
Tay Kheng Soon shares his solo-travelling experience in the 1960s [1:23:18]
Tay Kheng Soon on “Rubanisation” [0:35:01]
Kheng Soon shares the relationship between architecture and politics [1:48:49]
Tay Kheng Soon shares story about his encounter with Lee Kuan Yew [1:54:43]


Links Mentioned
Friedrich Fröbel (German educator)
The Interlace
Lim Chong Keat
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges
Europe on 5 Dollars a Day by Arthur Frommer
Kibbutz Israel
The Children of the Dream by Bruno Battleheim
Ekistics movement

Thanks for listening!

And if you have any experience with anything we talked about, I’d love for you to open up in the comments.

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Also, please leave an honest review for Misfits Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

Special thanks to Tay Kheng Soon. Until next time!

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