Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Finding Joy in a space in which 'Joy' was bottled

Bottleful of Joy to the World
Writings on the wall: soft drinks bottled at the plant … plus a secret formula perhaps

Disused spaces bring great joy, even as in the case of the former National Aerated Water Co’s bottling plant at 3MS Serangoon Road, the paraphernalia associated its use has long been removed. There is much to learn from the spaces, especially those that were conceived with little in way of frills in an age of greater simplicity. The disused plant, fronted by an art-deco-esque 2-strorey structure placed along a thoroughfare that would have been hard to miss, last saw use some two decades ago. Associated with the bottling of popular soft-drink labels, Sinalco, Kickapoo Joy Juice (the joy in a green bottle that was the comic strip inspired) & Royal Crown Cola, there are many now who look back fondly at the now empty building that is one of few constants in an area that has seen much change.

The good news we heard just last week was that a portion of the former plant – its front – is being conserved. Selangor Dredging purchased the site for residential redevelopment just last year and has over the year been working with the URA on the conservation of the former plant’s most recognisable feature and its face – the art-deco main building.

The factory, of a 1954 vintage, last saw operations some two decades ago. Built at a time of increasing demand for soft drinks, the home-grown company’s new plant found immediate success. The investment in the state-of-the-art factory and bottling equipment on the company’s 25th Anniversary was motivated by Sinalco’s 1952 award of exclusive bottling and distribution rights. An interesting nugget of information was shared by the URA about the rather peculiar name of the German drink was that it was derived from the words “sine alcohol” or without (in Latin) alcohol. More on the plant and the company can be found in a previous post: Losing its fizz: the third milestone without the former National Aerated Water plant.

related: The former National Aerated Water Co. plant is being conserved!

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Former National Aerated Water Company


In 1929, three businessmen Yap Shing Min, Cheng Sze Boo and Tan Kah Woo established the National Aerated Water Company at Hamilton Road, off Lavender Street. It was 1954 when the company moved its premises to the new $500,000 factory near Moonstone Lane, off Serangoon Road, which was fondly known as ow gang sar kok jio (Hougang 3rd milestone) in the old days.

Located just beside the south bank of the Kallang River, the Art Deco-styled building was able to produce 48,000 bottles of soft drinks everyday, double the production of the old plant at Hamilton Road.

When it was opened in the mid-1920s, National Aerated Water Company was looking to gain a significant market share in the soft drink industry from established rival brands such as Fraser and Neave Limited (F&N) (established in 1883) as well as new competitor in Phoenix Aerated Water Works (opened in 1924).

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Former National Aerated Water Factory building to be gazetted for conservation


The main building of the former National Aerated Water Factory at 1177 Serangoon Road will be gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Recognising the building’s heritage value, its role as a landmark in the area and the social memories it holds for the community, the building owner, Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB) is supportive of the conservation efforts and is working closely with URA to keep the building as part of our national history.

Ms Teh Lip Kim, Managing Director of SDB said, “As the building owner and a responsible community stakeholder, Selangor Dredging Berhad is pleased to support the conservation effort on the former National Aerated Water Factory, a well-known heritage landmark in the Serangoon area. We are glad to partner URA on this conservation journey to retain the building and integrate it as part of the new development. The building will be transformed into a unique and lively commercial area located next to a park connector, adjacent to the Kallang River. We are keen to contribute to sustainable projects where we can, and will put in our best effort to make these projects distinctive.”

Contributing to the heritage of Kallang River - Completed in 1954, this Art Deco Style building is a well-known local landmark along Serangoon Road. It was the bottling factory that produced popular soft drinks such as Sinalco, Kickapoo Joy Juice and Royal Crown Cola.  It is also one of the last few remaining structures along the stretch of Kallang River that reflect the area’s rich industrial past, and contribute to the heritage of the Kallang River.

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Former National Aerated Water Factory building to be gazetted for conservation

Completed in 1954, this Art Deco Style building is a well-known local landmark along Serangoon Road. It was the bottling factory that produced popular soft drinks such as Sinalco, Kickapoo Joy Juice and Royal Crown Cola.  It is also one of the last few remaining structures along the stretch of Kallang River that reflect the area’s rich industrial past, and contribute to the heritage of the Kallang River.

Mr Lim Eng Hwee, Chief Executive Officer of URA said, "This building is not only historically significant as a familiar landmark along the Kallang River, it also holds fond memories for Singaporeans for the popular soft drinks it produced from 1950s to 1990s. We are heartened that Selangor Dredging Berhad sees the significance of the building and supports its conservation."

"The conservation of this heritage-rich building would not have been possible without the support from the owner and recognition of the building’s significance from the community," he noted. URA stressed that the two-storey L-shaped main building facing Serangoon Road will be conserved, which includes the signage tower, a representative feature that many will be familiar with.

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Former National Aerated Water Factory building to be conserved
The former National Aerated Water Company is one of the last few reminders of Singapore’s industrial past.(Photo: Savills Singapore)

The conserved building, which will be kept fenceless along the river and the main road, will be integrated into a new residential development, it added.

Commenting on the conservation, URA chief executive officer Lim Eng Hwee, said: “This building is not only historically significant as a familiar landmark along the Kallang River, it also holds fond memories for Singaporeans for the popular soft drinks it produced from the 1950s to 1990s.”

“We are heartened that Selangor Dredging Berhad sees the significance of the building and supports its conservation. The conservation of this heritage-rich building would not have been possible without the support from the owner and recognition of the building’s significance from the community,” he added.

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National Aerated Water building in Serangoon to be conserved

Among the features that will be retained include the building's signage tower, a balcony with brick parapets, Art Deco timber transom panels and a sun shading ledge. It will be integrated into a new residential development and kept fenceless along the main road and the river.

THE main building of a former bottling factory, the National Aerated Water Co, will be partially conserved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The main building comprises a two-storey L-shaped structure facing Serangoon Road. Other features that will be retained.

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Part of National Aerated Water Factory will be conserved
The main building of the former National Aerated Water Factory.TNP FOTO: KELVIN CHNG

A defunct bottling factory that produced soft drinks such as Kickapoo Joy Juice & Sinalco will now be conserved partially, an event welcomed by heritage lovers who had feared that the factory would be torn down.

Yesterday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced that the main building of the former National Aerated Water Factory in Serangoon Road will be conserved.

Its 2-storey L-shaped building will be retained while the shed will make way for residential development.

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National Aerated Water Company

Formed in 1929, the National Aerated Water Company (NAWC) manufactured, bottled and distributed soft drinks in Singapore and Malaysia. The company was noted for its distributorship of popular brands of soft drinks, including Sinalco and Kickapoo Joy Juice. The factory, located on Serangoon Road, has been left disused since it ceased operations in the 1990s. Built in the Bauhaus and art-deco architectural styles of the 1950s, some have called for the building to be conserved.

Establishment and early history - The NAWC was formed as a partnership in 1929 between Yap Shing Nin, Cheng Sze Boo and Tan Kah Woo with a capital of $1 million. The company’s first factory was located on Hamilton Road at Jalan Besar. The factory continued to operate during the Japanese Occupation (1942–1945), manufacturing drinks using previously stocked ingredients and flavours as well as sugar rationed from the Japanese administration. At the time, the NAWC employed about 20 workers at its factory, turning out 3,600 bottles of soft drinks per hour. One of its products in the 1940s was the Peacock brand of aerated water. In 1952, the company began exclusively importing, distributing and bottling the popular German soft drink, Sinalco.

The NAWC became a private limited company in 1948. In 1953, Ching Kwong Yew joined the company as a director and was made managing director in 1956 following the death of the company’s co-founder Yap Shing Nin. In 1962, Ching went on an extensive tour to countries such as Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan to visit different soft-drink factories, particularly Sinalco plants, and meet up with his business partners. During his tour, Ching and his team discussed expansion plans with their overseas partners, as well as studied modern production methods and other aspects of the soft-drink business. While in West Germany, Ching picked up the “water treatment” method of producing soft drinks, a form of distillation that maintained the flavour of Sinalco drinks. Under his leadership, and armed with newly acquired knowledge of modern production methods, the company proceeded with its major expansions.

related:
New $500,000 soft drinks factory opens in Oct
A NEW THIRST QUENCHER
Sinalco
A drink tor all

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National Aerated Water Company – an Industrial Art Deco icon
Since 1954, the National Aerated Water Company has remained a somewhat neglected but often remembered feature at the start of Upper Serangoon Road

Sinalco, Kickapoo and Art Deco are perhaps three of the most synonymous terms associated with the recently auctioned off National Aerated Water Company (NAWC), an architectural icon of Singapore’s industrial age that has stood prominently along 1117 Upper Serangoon Road since it was built back in 1954.

While the terms ‘industrial’ and ‘Art Deco’ aren’t often mentioned in the same vein, the NAWC was able to blend both of them together seamlessly. On the façade, the captivating spire centrepiece is framed perfectly off-centre from the extending verandas, while the pleasant shade of pink and off-white would seem to suggest a subtle form of branding for the Sinalco drink packaging, the flagship product of the company during its heyday of operations. The history of the NAWC actually dates back to 1929, when three brothers – Yap Shing Nin, Cheng Sze Boo and Tan Kah Woo – started the first operational factory along Hamilton Road in Jalan Besar. In fact, the NAWC factory at Upper Serangoon Road was constructed to commemorate its 25th year of operations!

Built at a cost of $350,000, a further $150,000 was invested into the latest machinery at the Serangoon site, a move that enabled the plant to double its production capacity to 48,000 bottles a day. By 1959, it was reported that over 11 million bottles of Sinalco alone were sold annually throughout Malaya, Singapore and North Borneo. Over the years, the company would also come to be known for producing and distributing drinks like Kickapoo, Royal Crown Cola, and the Peacock brand of aerated water.

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Former National Aerated Water Factory
The main building of the former National Aerated Water Factory at 1177 Serangoon Road will be gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

Recognising the building’s heritage value, its role as a landmark in the area and the social memories it holds for the community, the building owner, Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB) is supportive of the conservation efforts and is working closely with URA to keep the building as part of our national history.

Completed in 1954, this Art Deco Style building is a well-known local landmark along Serangoon Road. It was the bottling factory that produced popular soft drinks such as Sinalco, Kickapoo Joy Juice and Royal Crown Cola.  It is also one of the last few remaining structures along the stretch of Kallang River that reflect the area’s rich industrial past, and contribute to the heritage of the Kallang River.

The two-storey L-shaped main building facing Serangoon Road will be conserved. This includes the signage tower, a representative feature that many will be familiar with.

read more

JUI RESIDENCES CONDO – OWN A PIECE OF HERITAGE

Jui Residences Condo is the latest development by SDB Singapore, Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB). Located at 1177 Serangoon Road, it is situated in an established HDB estate with plenty of new developments, including minutes drive to Paya Lebar Hub, and a majestic water view of Sungei Kallang.

The condo land parcel at Jui Residences received a top offer of S$47m for the 31,705 sqft land plot of former building – National Aerated Water Company. SDB will work with Singapore in the conversation of nearby heritage buildings, and this residential estate will be one of the prime city fringe development.

The project is officially announced at the end of 2017 with indicative prices expected to be released after CNY 2018. For starters, one may refer to the following Serangoon Masterplan by URA to get an idea of the estate Jui Residences Condo is developed in.

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Welcome to Jui Residences Singapore
JUI RESIDENCES CONDO – RECONSTRUCTING NATIONAL AERATED WATER COMPANY TO PRIVATE ESTATE

Jui Residences is a Freehold Condominium situated at 1177 Serangoon Road (Former National Aerated Company). It will be built by distinguished developer SDB Singapore, Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB).

Known to the 1950s and 1990s generation as Kickapoo Building, or Sinalco Building, the site is a unique opportunity to bring out the heritage and significance of conservation and national heritage.

Own a piece of Singapore Heritage and History in a rare conservation area and building. Working together closely with URA, SDB is committed to make Jui Residences a residential development an architecture and historical footprint on the Map of the past industrial district. Situated along Serangoon Road, it will have excellent connectivity to the island via major expressways and minutes to the City. The main facing of the development is Kallang Sungei, which will give a very natural and water body view for the development. Entrance will be via Moonstone Lane.

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Bottleful of Joy to the World
Sinalco, Kickapoo Joy Juice and Royal Crown Cola

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Finding Joy in a space in which 'Joy' was bottled