Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Singapore's Scariest Building

At first I thought it was some kind of revolving restaurant, but I am told that this building is actually police headquarters for Singapore: a genuine Panopticon in the heart of the city-state! Or should I write police-state?

This brief exerpt from the Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Foucault suggests why the "Panopticon" is an ominous choice of architecture style for a national police headquarters:
For Foucault, the epitome of the institutions of “discipline” -- a mode of domination that sought to render each instance of "deviance" utterly visible, whether in the name of prevention or rehabilitation -- was the Panopticon, a circular prison designed in 1787 by the philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham, which laid each inmate open to the scrutiny of the dark eye of a central watchtower.
What were they thinking when they built that thing?

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jotman,

    this is not a police headquarter. The colonial-styled building is a former high court and the circle-shaped building behind is current high court.



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