He is the renowned architect celebrated for shaping much of modern Singapore; the man responsible for punctuating our cityscape with Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, a thorny issue at the time, but lauded an award-winning design since.
When Koh Seow Chuan unveiled the masterplan for Singapore’s new performing arts hub in the early 1990s, there was a major public outcry. The unusual design was vetoed and encountered all sorts of problems so much so that then-President Ong Teng Cheong and George Yeo, who was Minister for Information and the Arts at the time, had to step in to help push the project through.
Indeed, Singapore’s “Durian” has endeared itself over the years, earning the 2005 Royal Institute of British Architects' Worldwide Design Award and the 2006 President's Design Award—a prime example of DP Architects’ many statement buildings and iconic landmarks in Singapore and abroad, which have made it the country’s largest and most established architectural firm unrivalled in repute.
Since Koh officially retired from the firm in 2004, the distinguished philatelist and avid collector of artefacts has been spending more time nurturing his artistic and historical interests.