District 04 – Habourfront, Mount Faber, Telok Blangah, WTC
Located by the calm, soothing waters of the Singapore Straits is District 04 which encompasses Keppel, Mount Faber, Sentosa and Telok Blangah. An international business port bustling with tourism and trade, District 04 is a hub where people of all nationalities and various and walks of life gather.
Harbourfront is a business and lifestyle hub situated within the Bukit Merah Planning Area. It is also the gateway to Sentosa Island. Prominent buildings in Harbourfront include HarbourFront Centre, Singapore Cruise Centre, St. James Power Station and VivoCity. Owned by MapleTree Investments, it is a vibrant place of work and play.
HarbourFront Centre (WTC)
Previously named World Trade Centre, HarbourFront Centre is known by its current name since 2003 when the mall was renovated. It is a shopping complex located at Maritime Square, Telok Blangah, Bukit Merah Planning Area. It is part of the development called HarbourFront which is connected to Vivocity, a new and massive mall. HarbourFront Centre is connected to the HarbourFront MRT Station. The Singapore Cruise Centre is located within the building. Across Telok Blangah Road is the HarbourFront Bus Interchange. Within HarbourFront Centre is a ferry terminal that provides ferry services to Batam and other ports in Indonesia.
Singapore Cruise Centre
A cruise terminal built in 1991 by the then Port of Singapore Authority and again refurbished in 1998, the Singapore Cruise Centre comprises of two terminals, the International Passenger Terminal (IPT) and the Regional Ferry Terminal (RFT). On 1st April 2003, the Singapore Cruise Centre Pte Ltd took over the management of the centre when the Port Singapore Authority Corporation dispossessed its non-core businesses. Every year the centre handles over 8 million cruise and ferry passengers, of which 950,000 are cruise passengers.
Launched in December 2006, VivoCity is the largest shopping mall in Singapore. The word VivoCity is derived from the word “vivacity”, to describe the experience of “a place bubbling with energy and flowing with vitality”. During its first week of operation, the mall received almost one million visitors. The iconic avant-garde architecture was designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito. One of the main features of the design is alfresco dining by the 300 metre long promenade. The building also features a large rooftop amphitheatre. Key areas such as the Sky Park, Promenade and the water features at the entrance are popular areas where people gather to enjoy the sights and watch children play. VivoCity boasts one of the largest cinema multiplex in town, with 15 screens and 2,293 seats. It is also has one of the biggest cinema screens in Asia. VivoMart, located within the shopping mall, sells gourmet food brought in from around the world, including US, UK, Japan and Australia. The terminal of the Sentosa Express monorail located within the building was officially opened on the 15th of January 2007 and is known as the Sentosa Monorail Station.
St James Power Station
A bustling nightlife scene with 9 nightclubs and live entertainment destinations comparable to Ministry of Sound at Clarke Quay and Zouk, St James Power Station is the place to be for a fun-filled night of merrymaking with friends. Occupying the premises of Singapore’s first coal-fired power station built in 1927, the building underwent a huge $43 million dollar makeover for two years before opening in 2006. This place is where the party begins and never stops until the break of dawn.
Standing at 106 metres and overlooking the Singapore Central Business District is Mount Faber, a famous tourist attraction. It is situated near the Bukit Merah planning area, in Telok Blangah. The hill is accessible by road and footpaths leading up the hill. One can alight from the cable car system that connects Harbourfront and Sentosa then go up Mount Faber via the tower on the slope. Formerly known as Telok Blangah Hill, it was renamed after Captain Charles Edward Faber, Governor Butterworth’s brother-in-law who arrived in Singapore in September 1844. Mount Faber is one of the higher hills in Singapore, slightly lower than Bukit Timah Hill (164m) and Bukit Gombak (133m). It is separated from the adjacent slightly lower Telok Blangah Hill by Henderson Road.
The word Telok Blangah in Malay stands for “cooking pot bay”. Blanga is a cooking pot used by southern Indians. The Telok Blangah district got its name because of the cooking pot shape of the bay. It is a district in the Bukit Merah Planning Area behind Keppel Harbour. The Telok Blangah Hill Park was a gathering place for trading communities back in the early nineteenth century. An elegant colonial bungalow, the Alkaff Mansion used to be a place where many galas for the rich and famous were held. The Terrace Garden of Telok Blangah, with its rich foliage and semi-circular terraces at the top of the park, is a favourite spot for wedding couples. For those whose aim is to get fit, there are often group exercises such as Tai Qi and jogging at the park with the rest of the residents from the neighbourhood. Picnics are a common sight at Telok Blangah Hill Park, as the place is equipped with picnic tables under the shade of Eugenia, Alstonia and Rain trees.
Keppel Harbour is a stretch of water between the Singapore mainland and the southern islands of Pulau Brani and Sentosa. Its deep waters made it an ideal place for British colonists to establish a Far East maritime colony. It then set the stage for the formation of Singapore to be a successful independent state. Luxury waterfront homes are currently in development. Designed by master architect Daniel Libeskind, Reflections, or Keppel Bay phase two, was launched in early 2007 by the Keppel group, one of Singapore’s largest conglomerate. To link Keppel Island to the mainland, a 250 metre cable-stayed bridge was completed by the first quarter of 2007.
For easy accessibility to other parts of Singapore, the HarbourFront MRT Station is right on the North-East Line as well as the Harbour Front Bus Interchange.