1st December, 2016

Assistant Professor Yeo Kang Shua is featured on local Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao on the restoration of the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery.

Read more: https://goo.gl/TZP7Mf

Summarised Translation:

The article talks about the restoration of the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, which featured quotes from SUTD’s architecture and sustainable design Assistant Professor, Dr Yeo Kang Shua.

Located in Toa Payoh, the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery was built at the beginning of the 1898.

It was gazetted as a national monument in 1980 and is the first Buddhist temple in Singapore to receive this honour.

But in the early 1990s, several of its buildings fell into disrepair and were also severely infested with termites.

The restoration and reconstruction of the temple took place over the course of almost 20 years.

Assistant Professor Dr Yeo Kang Shua from SUTD’s Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar said that it was difficult to find local craftsmen who could maintain antique buildings, and there is a lack of awareness of the need to cultivate such professionals. He added that at present, craftsmen required to carry out such restoration work often come from China and Taiwan. As Singapore currently classifies heritage building maintenance and restoration under the construction industry, these craftsmen can only enter Singapore as foreign construction workers. However, if highly skilled and experienced craftsmen are required, they tend to be older and would face the age limit obstacle when applying for a work permit.

Even if these craftsmen successfully applied for the permit, Dr Yeo said that this can only be used for a single “construction” project , and they would have to leave on project completion, so there is no one available to attend to the daily maintenance of these heritage buildings.

“If heritage buildings can be maintained on a regular basis, there would be less need for large scale restoration.”