The architectural scene in Singapore in the late 1960s and early 1970s was transformed by government invitations for private sector participation in the country’s renewal programme. It was during this period that DP completed the People’s Park Complex and the Golden Mile Complex – these two projects introduced Singapore to new modes of modernist architecture, private-public programming of unprecedented scale, and a series of innovative public spaces.
In 1975 Design Partnership was renamed DP Architects, led by partners Koh Seow Chuan, William Lim, Gan Eng Oon and Chan Sui Him; Tay Kheng Soon had left the partnership during a transition in 1974. With new leadership came expansion and growth. By the early 1980s, the reputation of DP Architects was firmly established. The firm had gained considerable peer recognition and garnered numerous design awards, and the practice was recognised for its capacity to deliver high-quality, large-scale projects. Our works were innovative and socially meaningful and had helped Singapore’s architecture evolve beyond the stranglehold of a colonial legacy. We had helped give rise to a new tropical regionalism.
Through the 1980s a new generation of directors became groomed for leadership. The belief that collective strength is more important than individual talent continues to guide the firm. This new set of leaders – Francis Lee, Ti Lian Seng, Vikas Gore, Wu Tzu Chiang and Teoh Hai Pin and later Chin Thoe Chong, Angelene Chan, Lesley Lim and Dadi Surya – possessed a shared design approach aimed at enriching the lives and experiences of people; in this way, we formed a continuum in our philosophy and design methodologies from the 1960s.