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Gasping – but somehow still alive
This is the fierce last stand of all I am
Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name, Before It All Goes presents images of eight iconic sites from Singapore’s early independence years that are now being demolished or redeveloped. Shot by renowned architectural photographer Darren Soh, the book also features photos of HDB estates that were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as essays by Soh and architectural historian Dr Yeo Kang Shua.
The design of the book is distinguished by a series of illustrative representations of the featured buildings, which form a collage on the cover and serve as section dividers. These graphics not only call to mind the formal and geometric qualities of post-war modernist architecture, but also the silhouette formed when sound barriers are put up on a building pre-demolition, rendering it a shadow of its former self. The larger-than-life scale of the drawings further emphasises the tension of dual representation—an architectural movement termed ‘heroic’ by modernist architect Tay Kheng Soon, and the buildings’ final state before demolition. We also used Monument Grotesk by DINAMO as the book’s primary typeface as an ideological nod to the historic buildings that were featured.