Selegie Arts Centre

Selegie Arts Centre

In a city laid out on grids and squares, it is always a delight to spot the occasional misfit. At the tip of a U-shaped corner formed by two roads, namely Selegie Road and Prinsep Street, is a curved yellow pastel building – Selegie Arts Centre. Located at 30 Selegie Road or on the edge of Prinsep Street, the Selegie Arts Centre takes after the shape of a wedge.

The row of shophouses between Prinsep Street and Selegie Road still standing in the early 1990s. The entire stretch has been demolished, with the exception of the Selegie Arts Centre building on the bottom left. Image Source: National Archives of Singapore.

The row of shophouses between Prinsep Street and Selegie Road still standing in the early 1990s. The entire stretch has been demolished, with the exception of the Selegie Arts Centre building on the bottom left. Image Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Selegie Road in 1993 with demolition in progress. Image Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Selegie Road in 1993 with demolition in progress. Image Source: National Archives of Singapore.

View of demolition from Prinsep Street. The Selegie Arts Centre building is on the far left. The three high-rise buildings at the back are Paradiz Centre (now PoMo), Parklane Shopping Mall and Peace Centre. Image Source: National Archives of Singapore.

View of demolition from Prinsep Street. The Selegie Arts Centre building is on the far left. The three high-rise buildings at the back are Paradiz Centre (now PoMo), Parklane Shopping Mall and Peace Centre. Image Source: National Archives of Singapore.

Selegie Arts Centre is one of few buildings unaffected by major demolition in the area. Most shophouses on the same stretch had been torn down in the early 1990s.

The Selegie Arts Centre is now managed under the National Arts Council’s Arts Housing Scheme as part of the Waterloo Street Arts Belt. It houses The Photographic Society of Singapore, which has occupied both second and third levels since 1995. The gallery on the third level is named Loke Wan Tho Gallery after their former Vice President Datok Loke Wan Tho, better known as the founder of the Cathay Organisation.

30 Selegie Road in 1993 (left) and 2014 (right).

30 Selegie Road in 1993 (left) and 2014 (right).

View of Selegie Arts Centre from Selegie Road. The three-storey blue building is the Elections Department Building.

View of Selegie Arts Centre from Selegie Road. The three-storey blue building is the Elections Department Building.

There is no longer through access between Prinsep Street and Selegie Road due to the construction of Bencoolen MRT Station for the Downtown Line Stage 3. Selegie Road has become a two-way street to facilitate traffic flow as a stretch of Bencoolen Street has been closed.

Selegie Road is a street filled with landmarks, such as the David Elias Building, the Ellison Building, the Rendezvous, and the Selegie House estate, which is one of the earliest HDB housing estates. The Selegie Arts Centre is sometimes represented by its tenant on the first level, the Mr Bean’s Café, a 24-hour bistro known for offering live sports screening.

Mr Bean’s Café, a well-known F&B fixture in the area, because it’s open 24-hours and screens live sports on multiple screens.

Mr Bean’s Café, a well-known F&B fixture in the area because it’s open for 24-hours daily and screens live sports on multiple screens.

Selegie Arts Centre is almost the halfway point for kavadi-bearers on their marching route on Thaipusam.

Selegie Arts Centre is almost the halfway point for kavadi-bearers on their marching route on Thaipusam.

Selegie Arts Centre is a conserved building under the Cheang Jim Chwan Place conservation area and is set to be a feature along Selegie Road in a long time to come.

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