One of the latest school buildings to be approved for conservation in January 2007, the former Victoria School (VS) is a prominent urban and community landmark at Tyrwhitt Road, off historic Jalan Besar.
VS has had a long and illustrious history. It had its humble origin as an English class in the Kampong Glam Malay School in 1876 and moved to the site at Tyrwhitt Road when the building was completed in 1933. The school was located here for over 50 years before it relocated to Geylang Bahru and later to its new premises at Siglap Link.
Over the years, this pioneer school has made significant contributions to the growth and development of our country by producing numerous scholars, professionals and leaders.
The old premises boasts unique buildings with interesting architecture and history. Being kept for posterity are the Main Classroom/Administrative Block and the Hall-cum-Canteen Block.
The original Main Classroom/Administrative Block is a handsome, flat-roofed, Neo-classical style building with a signature long frontage and upper storey corridor that continues around the central spine of the classrooms. A school hall, with concrete-arch structures, terminates the block at one end.
Built in 1933, it was designed by the same architect as that of the Supreme Court and the former Traffic Police Building, Frank Dorrington Ward of Public Works Department (PWD). It is elegantly proportioned and faced with Shanghai plaster.
The Modern style Hall-cum-Canteen Block built in 1967 is one of the early prototypes developed by PWD in the post-war years to produce schools that are aesthetically pleasing and are fast to build. This innovative spatial-planning technique was later repeated in other schools on the island.
Characterised by a functional yet decorative second storey façade, VS’ multi-purpose hall on the second storey is supported above the ground floor canteen area by slender concrete columns.
Both buildings, in their distinct architectural styles, serve as tangible anchors and reminders of the development of our educational system and the evolution of the school building types in the pre- and post-war years.