Section Model 1924–2012 (Photo: Bas Princen)

The project Constructed Land: Singapore 1924–2012 investigates the material flows of soil and the changing physical form of the island of Singapore over time. Until today, around one quarter of the land area has been added to the surface of the island-state by means of importing sand, claiming land from the sea, reshaping of existing terrain, and dredging material from the seabed. For more than a century, the transformation of topography has accompanied the change of Singapore’s urban landscape. While this process continues at an ever-increasing pace, its scale and implications are breathtaking: The project reveals constructed land as the central paradigm of Singapore’s urban development today.

The joint research collaboration on the land reclamation process came into being at an intersection of two distinctive approaches to the city: the historic and the territorial. They are represented by two teams, working as part of the ETH Zürich, DArch and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. (Prof. Uta Hassler and Asst. Prof. Milica Topalovic). Drawing from detailed topographic maps spanning two moments in time, 1924 and 2012, the joint project provides a meticulous description of Singapore’s transformation over the entire national territory and during a century of intensive modernisation.

Singapore 1924 – 2012


Uta Hassler
Milica Topalovic
Hans Hortig
Martin Knuesel
Iris Belle
Wang Tao