Timothy Tye
MacDonald House

MacDonald House, SingaporeMacDonald House, Singapore (1 August, 2017)

MacDonald House (GPS: 1.29914, 103.84617) is a historic building located at Orchard Road in Singapore, a short distance from the Istana. It was originally built for The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, but today houses a branch of Citibank. Today it is the last remaining office building in facing brick in the Central Area of Singapore's Central Business District.

The MacDonald House was designed by Reginal Eyre of Palmer and Turner, a famous architectural firm established in Shanghai in 1882. The building was built in a Neo-Georgian style. It is a reinforced concrete framed structure and clad in light red brickwork of fine detail.

The MacDonald House was its first project in Singapore. It was built in 1949, and when completed, was the first high rise building in Orchard Road. It was also the first building to be fully air-conditioned in Malaya. In addition to the ground banking hall, there are seven floors of staff flats occupied the building. An open well runs through the building, allowing natural light into the inner offices. There are six skylights in the ceiling of the banking hall which thus needs no artificial lighting during the day.

In 1965, two Indonesian saboteurs planted a bomb on the mezzanine floor, killing two people and wounding 33. This was during the Indonesian Confrontation in support of Sukarno's opposition to the merger of Singapore, Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form the Federation of Malaysia.

The MacDonald House was vacant from 2000 until it was put for sale in 2002. Around the same time, the building was gazetted as a National Monument, putting its exterior façade under protection. Tinifia Investment paid S$36 million for The MacDonald House, and spent another S$12 million to renovate the interior. The building was reopened in April 2005 with full occupancy. The flagship Orchard Road Branch of Citibank Singapore opened at The MacDonald House on 23 June 2005, occupying 37,000 square feet of space spread over the building's lower four floors, making it the largest wealth management centre in Asia.

MacDonald House, SingaporeMacDonald House, Singapore (1 August, 2017)

MacDonald House, SingaporeMacDonald House, Singapore (10 July, 2006)

MacDonald House on Google Street View

(Aug 2016)

MacDonald House is on the map of Orchard Road

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