Vertical City: Singapore’s First Public-Private Mixed-Use Development
Golden Mile Complex
5001 Beach Road, Singapore 199588

Golden Mile Complex was built during an era of widespread experimentation in architecture and urbanism, aimed at solving the demands of high-density living in the years of post-war rebuilding. Influenced by the Metabolist and ‘linear city’ movements, the development was designed as a self-contained 16-storey “vertical city” that included all the amenities needed for urban life, from a commercial center to shared outdoor recreational spaces.

The complex was among the first public-private, mixed-use buildings of its scale in Singapore, and proved fundamental in setting standards for the nation’s modern architectural movement. Sited on 1.3 hectares of land and 89 metres tall, it offered residential, commercial, entertainment, and office spaces within a single structure. The lower floors comprises three storeys of commercial space that includes kiosks, coffee bars, a bank, department store, supermarket, 360 shopping units and office studios – all located within a central atrium.

Over the last 50 years, Golden Mile Complex remains a successful gathering space for people of different nationalities; proving to be a flexible building, adaptive to a changing user base and needs. Its ground atrium remains a dynamic space that functions day and night while additions and alterations to individual residential units have transformed the structure’s exterior, permitting the type of organic growth that was central to its design as an open platform for city living.

Design team

DP Architects