Old St. Andrew's School Old St. Andrew's School

08 Jul 2016

Old St. Andrew's School


Designed by Scottish architect Frank Wilmin Brewer in 1939, the old St. Andrew’s School was one of his largest and most intricate works.

A spacious grass quadrangle sits at the heart of the building with distinctive arches lining the corridors of school. The quadrangle, called ‘holy ground’ by students as they were barred from walking across the lawn, is a central feature to the open concept of the building. A tower, previously the prefects’ room, stands proudly at the north-east wing of the school.

Mr Yee Teck Peng, 84, graduated from St. Andrew’s School in 1952. Both he and his wife, Mrs Mary Yee, 84, began teaching at St. Andrew’s from 1955 and 1956 respectively where they devoted many years to grooming generations of students. For the couple, this open concept of the school grounds has laid the foundation of valuable life lessons for students.

Old St. Andrew's School

Old St. Andrew's School

Old St. Andrew's School

“A feature of the school that brought about a feeling of unity was the classrooms. They had no partitions between then so you could easily see what was going on in the next class. This allowed students to interact organically and gave a feeling that there was no classification or social divisions amongst people,” said Mrs Yee.

They think there is much value on preserving heritage sites such as the old St. Andrew’s School. Mr Yee said: “Physical spaces last far beyond our time. They endure and are synonymous with the virtues of the institutions that they represent. This allows values such as acceptance and teamwork to resonate with future generations of students and Singaporeans.”

A third storey was added to the building in 1952 and the site has since been sensitively adapted and restored as the Diocese of Singapore, contributing to the overall sense of place in the St. Andrew’s Village. The restoration project won the URA Architectural Heritage Award in 2006.

“The St. Andrew’s identity intersects with the Singaporean identity. This is very much evident in the principles of integrity, sportsmanship and generosity inculcated during my time here,” said Mr Yee. “In having a stake and taking ownership for their nation, I hope future Singaporeans hold these timeless values close to their heart.”

“A feature of the school that brought about a feeling of unity was the classrooms. The classrooms had no partitions between then so you could easily see what was going on in the next class. This allowed students to interact organically and gave a feeling that there is no classification or social divisions amongst people.”

- Mrs Mary Yee, 84, former teacher at St. Andrew’s School

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