It’s always pleasant to discover a rogue in a city organized on grids and squares. The apex of a U-shaped junction formed by two roads, Selegie Road and Prinsep Street, is marked by a curved yellow pastel building known as the Selegie Arts Centre. The Selegie Arts Centre, located on the corner of Prinsep Street and 30 Selegie Road, is a wedge-shaped structure.
The Selegie Arts Centre is one of several buildings in the region that has been largely spared from destruction. Others on the same stretch of road had been demolished in the early 1990s.
The National Arts Council’s Arts Housing Scheme, which aims to develop flourishing and long-term arts communities in economically disadvantaged regions, has recently recognized the Selegie Arts Centre. The Photographic Society of Singapore, which has occupied both the second and third levels since 1995, is in this area. On the third level, the gallery is named Loke Wan Tho Gallery in memory of their former Vice President Datok Loke Wan Tho, better known as the creator of Cathay Organisation.
Due to the Prinsep Street-Selegie Road Tunnel’s demolition for Bencoolen MRT Station on the Downtown Line Stage 3, there is no longer access between the two roads. To improve traffic flow, Selegie Road has been converted to a two-way street to allow for the Bencoolen Street closure.
Selegie Road is a street with several historical buildings, including the David Elias Building, the Ellison Building, the Rendezvous Inn, and the Selegie House estate, which was one of Singapore’s first HDB housing estates. The Selegie Arts Centre is sometimes represented by its tenant on the first floor, Mr Bean’s Café, a 24-hour bistro known for live sports coverage.
The Selegie Arts Centre is a preserved building in the Cheang Jim Chwan Place conservation area that will be a prominent feature on Selegie Road for many years to come.