It has always been a mystery to me what in the world this building is about… Located near Bugis MRT, beside Raffles Hospital, this unassuming, yet majestical building sure stands out! Well the interesting part is, I am apparently not the only one calling this building ‘Gotham City of Singapore’.

(Picture source: Wikipedia)

I didn’t have the chance to take the full view of the building. So I ‘stole’ from the web above.

The only thing I know is that it is an office building and there are some statues inside… I never bother to find out more so that I can have the surprise if I ever go there.

Finally, a friend and I decided that we should explore it on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Here is some of the photos taken.

The Golden Crane

We were greeted by a big golden crane in the middle of the open plaza after the taking the stairs up.  According to source, the crane is pointing towards China, and there is a chinese poem crafted below the statue.  The poem refers to a mythical crane looking towards the direction of its temple (a place of worship in Hubei, China) and eager to fly the thousands of miles back — Depicting the homesickness of the owner (Wikipedia).

Another nice metal wall sculpture

In the open plaza, we found four bronze statues on each sides. All famous people of the world.

And on the other side:

There are others around like Mozart, Rembrandt, Shakespeare, and Albert Einstein but I did not see all or have a good take of their pictures.

Another gigantic statue on the top of the pillars of each side-

Okay, the breathtaking surprise did not stop there.  We realised there is a somewhat cafe like area inside after the lobby inside the building.  And yes, there is a wine-cafe bar inside and the architecture inside is totally awesome!  We were taken aback as we were poorly dressed in t-shirts and bermudas but the waitress happily welcome us!

Even the coffee cups looks nice.

Not totally sure what it means, but the side table sure looks classy.

So, we enjoyed our coffee and sit back to appreciate the amazing indoor art design.  Of course, I took more snapshots to share.

At this time, we checked the internet for more information of the building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkview_Square). Below quoted from wikipedia:

Parkview Square was designed by American Consultant James Adams Design, together with DP Architects of Singapore. It was built at a cost of SGD$87.93 million. It was built as the last major project enterprised by the late Mr. C. S. Hwang, a Taiwanese tycoon chairman of Chyau Fwu Group. As his last project, he wanted it “imposing and monumental, yet stylish and elegant”.

The office space on each floor is column-less so it can be reconfigured according to the tenant’s wish. Although it is a modern building, having been completed in 2002, it is specially designed in the classic Art Deco style, following New York City 1929 Chanin Building as an inspiration. The exterior surface of the building is clad in brown Granite, bronze, lacquer, and glass.

The lobby is also designed mainly in the Art Deco style and features a 15m-high ceiling with hand-crafted details. The bar in the lobby of the building has a unique 3-storey high wine chiller. The open plaza of Parkview Square is reminiscent of Piazza San Marco in Venice, with sculptures and statues surrounding the open plaza. There are many bronze effigies of some of the most famous figures in world history, including Sun Yat-sen, Abraham Lincoln, Salvador Dalí, Mozart, Chopin, Isaac Newton, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Plato, Dante, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein.

The building also has widespread use of motifs, sculptures, and ornamentation. The building is “guarded” by eight gigantic fiberglass statues of men holding a light ball in their hands, four of them standing on each broad side of the building’s crown. Another example is the gargoyles decorating the building’s exterior, which are said to be hand-crafted.

So where we are relaxing is the Divine Wine Society Bar, an opulent wine bar in Parkview Square. This place offers a completely different experience to any grand hotel cafe.

A reviewer named ‘Frog’ from a page in the internet perfectly describe this bar (http://www.sloshspot.com/bar-club-pub/divine-wine-society-bar-singapore-63238):

The Divine Wine Society Bar, in the lobby of ultra-modern Parkview Square, offers a completely different, totally 21st century and perhaps even beyond this world, experience. Sunk in deep leather armchairs we drank in the grandeur of the place; the lofty vaulted ceiling, the screened gallery with the grand piano, the art deco bronze balconies, thick with decoration; the art nouveau murals and frescos where formations of stylized deer on the hoof and streamlined birds on the wing speed through groves of fantastical trees; the mighty-temple pillars in bleached-stone white; the carpet like a deep, pink rolling cloud; the towering three storey wine chiller, silhouetted with thousands of supine bottles. An angel, in diaphanous white, with glittering wings and halo, floated silently across on ethereal ballet-slippered feet, with a gold-emblazoned drinks list of biblical proportions, to take our order. We watched in wonder as she soared on the end of a wire, higher and higher, buzzing backwards and forwards, up to the very top shelf of the giant fridge, in quest of our champagne. Had she been accompanied by celestial choirs, rather than a piecing mechanical whine, we might well have believed ourselves dead and in heaven. The Divine Wine Society Bar is a place with a Monday to Friday rather than a weekend buzz. On weekday evenings, a singer/pianist entertains and the bar is alive with after-workers from the offices and embassies above. On Saturday night we found it rather hushed and quiet.

Let’s see why:

Needless to say, ain’t it amazing? It is said that there are more than 3,000 bottles of wine in this 12-metre high cooler that goes all the way to the ceiling of the lobby.  Apparently the waitress will hooks herself to a pully and ‘fly’ up to retrieve it when you order one bottle from there. And of course, we did not have the chance to see as we are not drinking.

As you can see, there are Art decorations all around the lobby, especially the ceiling, with nice carpets and plush sofas.  Apparenty, dress code is likely required in the evening when there is live jazz music playing.

By the way, while taking photographs along the lobby, the security officers stopped me from taking more and said ‘No taking photos’. So please make sure activate your secret detective mode!

After these shots, we continue to enjoy our now-warm coffee. A totally awesome corner in the busy Singaproe for a after tea session.  I will do it again.

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