Parkview Square is a large office tower in the Bugis region of Singapore, built in a resolutely anachronistic Art Deco style. Many people know it as the “Gotham City building”. It was the last project commissioned by the Taiwanese tycoon Hwang Chou-Shiuan, founder of the Chyau Fwu Group and of the Hong Kong Parkview Group. It seems he wanted something “imposing and monumental, yet stylish and elegant” for his final building, ultimately resulting in this magnificent tower. I love the building for its structural beauty, wealth of detailing, and absolute refusal to compromise its ideals for the sake of the landscape around it.
At the foot of the building is a golden statue of a crane, facing China, spreading its wings. Inscribed on the pedestal is the following poem:
I don’t know who wrote the poem; perhaps it was the work of Mr. Hwang himself. It alludes faintly to Li Bai’s poem on China’s Yellow Crane Tower, which I translated in the previous entry. Here is my translation of the poem on the pedestal:
Yellow Crane Tower
In my old country once stood a Yellow Crane Tower;
how many autumns have I gazed north, homewards?
A yellow crane spreads its wings to fly ten thousand miles —
oh! In the Lion City I see a Crane Tower!