SINGAPORE (Jan 28): On the seventh floor of Thong Teck Building on Scotts Road, Liu Thai-Ker strides across the old carpeting. Exposed wiring dangles from bare spots in the ceiling. The unit may look shabby now, but Liu has great hopes for it. This is where he intends to build a new architectural firm: Morrow Architects & Planners.

Liu is a well-known face, having served as chief architect and then CEO of HDB from 1969 to 1979 and as CEO of URA from 1989 to 1992. He has since been employed in the private sector and now, as he is about to turn 80 in February, is looking forward to another phase of his career as chairman and founder of Morrow. He hopes his architectural firm will be able to contribute to the development of Singapore.

The challenge the country faces, Liu says, is creating liveable spaces for a dense population. “For me as a citizen, I want the economy to continue to do well. [This means] we have to accept [population growth],” he says. While technology and automation can help companies increase their productivity, this growth is insufficient. “It is necessary for Singapore’s [population] to grow,” he points out.

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