Now you can’t do photography at People’s Park Complex without a permit

The end of an era of aesthetic photo shoots?

By Guan Zhen Tan | March 6, 2018

This is a sad day for People’s Park Complex hipsters.

The nail is in the coffin.

A signage has been put up at the building’s car park to deter photographers.

The sign reads: “Private Property // Photo/Video shoot // Permit required”.

Permit purposes

In response to queries, the company in charge of running the car park clarified the rationale for requiring photographers to seek permission to take photos and the enforcement of the rule.

The company, 1010parking, said privacy concerns and vandalism are the reasons for permission to be sought beforehand:

We are a humble Carpark, and filming/ photography deviates from our core business.

Due to the close proximity to the resident block of People’s Park Complex, we have various privacy concerns from the residents; drones peering into units, people standing precariously close to the ledge, noise, and even vandals.

As such, we are required to maintain control and order of the space.

We have a very stringent set of rules for shots on the Carpark deck.

Part of the requirements is applicants will need to have a 3rd party liability insurance coverage.

Given that, permits are issued on a case to case basis, with or without cost.

We will not approve permits for photography of People’s Park Complex residential block.

Permits will be approved for shots with views of the city only.

The last of the Brutalist architecture

People’s Park Complex was completed in 1973, and is one of the remaining Brutalist-styled architecture in Singapore, along with the likes of Golden Mile Complex and Shaw Towers.

This style was big in the 1950s to 1970s.

It lacks fancy ornamentation or embellishments, and parts of the building have exposed concrete. This is because the term Brutalist comes from the French word béton-brut, or raw concrete.

Brutalist architecture are often built for mixed-use purposes, with both residential and retail facilities in one building, reflecting rational themes in urban redevelopment plans of the time.

These structures have long been outdated, after years of wear and tear showing up on its physical facade.

However, the retro yet vibrant yellow and green exterior meant that it was even up till recently, swarming with youngsters, hipsters and tourists.

This brought new life to the complex — at least on the outside of it.

The beginning of the end?

Lepark, the bar and restaurant that used to be situated on the rooftop of the car park, saw a healthy number of visitors when it was opened.

Through activities they organised and the community that gathered, Lepark single-handedly transformed a once-abandoned car park space into vibrant grounds.

But the establishment and car park were put up for sale in August 2017, and Lepark eventually closed in September 2017, despite thriving business.

S’pore rooftop tapas bar Lepark to close for good, last day Sept. 30, 2017

The complex continued to see repeated patronage from social media users, even as signs have been put up.

Photo-takers are still putting up posts uploaded as recently as March 6.

In any case, People’s Park Complex will probably still remain close to many an Instagrammer’s heart, and some may continue to try their luck snapping pictures of from afar.

About Guan Zhen Tan

Guan Zhen is a serial doodler with multiple pens with her wherever she goes. She loves listening to Visual Kei bands, Jamiroquai and random songs from the future-funk genre.

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