Community News

Heritage Edition – Robertson Quay

Gather is a stone’s throw away from the trendy neighbourhood of Robertson Quay and in close proximity to Singapore’s CBD and the Orchard Road belt.

Popular with laid-back cafes and restaurants, this charming neighbourhood has quite an interesting history.

Robertson Quay has been a part of Singapore history since 19th century, named after Dr J Murray Robertson, a prominent Municipal Councilor. Robertson Quay is the largest and most upstream of the three main historical quays on the Singapore River. The land around this area has been reclaimed since 1990s to cater to the rising demand for warehousing of goods that came through Singapore. It is a trading harbor built from the olden days that have led to the rise of Singapore’s prosperity from a small unknown fishing village to what it is today.

Picture taken from NTU Open Source Studio

If you have been to this vicinity early in the morning, you will be greeted by joggers and families that will be strolling or walking along the river banks. Often, visitors will stop by the Alkaff Bridge to snap a picture or two or just to enjoy the morning breeze. Late artist Pacita Abad, from the Philippines was struck by artistic inspiration while sipping coffee by the riverside in Singapore in 2003 and decided to transform this non-remarkable pedestrian bridge to become her final project of her esteemed life. She had fought against all odds of her ailing body at that time as she was cancer-stricken but her passion towards creating impact in other people’s life through her artwork had pushed her forward to create her last masterpiece on a country’s contemporary landscape with a team of rope specialists.

Picture taken from Wikipedia

Today, Robertson Quay has closed its shores for the old trading days and have phased out the warehousing activities, however the rows of shop houses along the rivers are preserved for its heritage and provided a historic layer to an ever evolving Singapore River that has been built up into a port of international standing over the span of 2 centuries.

We are now surrounded by a host of fitness and lifestyle establishments, where you can get your morning coffee from cafes like Common Man Coffee Roasters or Kith Cafe; Squeeze in a lunch time workout at Orange Theory or Yoga Movement and unwind after work at The Quayside.