Liu Thai Ker

Founding chairman, Morrow Architects and Planners

 

The veteran builder and planner is known as the ‘Father of Urban Planning of Singapore’

The eldest son of artist Liu Kang, Liu Thai Ker is an architect and planner. Also known as the “architect of modern Singapore” for his extensive contribution to the country’s housing and urban landscape, he served as chief architect and chief executive of Housing Development Board (HDB) for 20 years. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of 20 new towns and over half a million housing units. He has played a considerable role in Singapore’s growth, as he led the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) as chief planner and chief executive for four years to develop the 1991 Singapore Concept Master Plan.

Following his years in the public service, he worked on architecture projects in over 50 cities across the world, as senior director of RSP Architects Planners and Engineers. He is still not resting on his laurels, as he established Morrow Architects and Planners in 2017, when he was aged 79. Morrow is a consultancy specialising in urban planning, urban design, and architectural design that showcases Dr. Liu’s developments in cities worldwide and also hopes to nurture future talents for the industry.

Liu had sought to become an artist like his father, and even held exhibitions of his works during the 1950s and ’60s, but was eventually advised by his family to go into architecture instead. After going to America and obtaining his master’s degree in city planning from Yale University in 1965, Liu worked at institutions such as Loder & Dunphy Architects in Sydney, Australia, and celebrated builder I.M. Pei’s firm in New York before returning to Singapore.

Currently, Liu and his firm’s most recent noteworthy project involves spearheading urban redevelopments and digital transformation in Fiji’s central hubs. Together with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, Morrow has been engaged to spearhead the government’s concept master planning project that strives to modernise urban centres in greater Suva, Nadi and Lautoka.

Liu is also the founding chairman of the Advisory Board of Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) and an adjunct professor at the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration at Nanyang Technological University.

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Awards


2018

William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize (Australia Institute of Architects)

2001

Gold Medal, Singapore Institute of Architects

1985

Meritorious Service Medal

1976

Public Administration Medal (Gold)

Did You Know?


During Liu Thai Ker’s tenure as chief architect and CEO of the HDB from 1969 to 1989, a total of 23 satellite towns were planned and designed for a population of over 200,000, while half a million houses and related facilities were built.

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