The Company

City Developments Limited: 50 Years Of Trust – Celebrating 50 Years

Celebrating 50 Years
In 2013, CDL planned a series of exciting programmes to commemorate this milestone. We also take pride in celebrating the accolades that we have received, as testament to our heritage of being one of Singapore's leading green developers.

CDL Green Gallery – Singapore’s First Zero Energy Green Gallery

The CDL Green Gallery, located at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG), was declared officially open on Saturday, 30 November, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Guest-of-Honour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and dignitaries such as Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development, Mrs Christina Ong, Chairman, NParks, and Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL.

Guest-of-Honour Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (second from left), was joined by (from left to right)
NParks Chairman, Mrs Christina Ong, Minister for National Development, Mr Khaw Boon Wan and
CDL Managing Director Mr Kwek Leng Joo, in a ribbon cutting ceremony to signify the official
opening of the CDL Green Gallery and SBG Heritage Museum.

As part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations, CDL presented this second "Gift to the Nation" to the National Parks Board (NParks), in the form of the CDL Green Gallery – Singapore’s first zero energy Green Gallery. Earlier, on 31 May, CDL unveiled its first Gift to the Nation in the form of My Tree House – the World’s First Green Library for Kids, co-created with the National Library Board.

The CDL Green Gallery, which sits on Holttum Lawn, together with the SBG Heritage Museum housed next to the gallery at Holttum Hall, will feature interactive exhibits, and visitors can learn more about the rich history of the 154 year-old Gardens and Singapore’s greening journey over the last five decades. Together, these two new amenities will help to jointly support SBG’s nomination bid in becoming Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"In celebration of CDL’s 50th anniversary this year and in support of the Gardens’ nomination bid as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, we are delighted to leverage our green building expertise and gather like-minded partners to contribute to the development of these green icons as our gift to the nation. Singapore has won many accolades on our economic success, we sincerely hope to do our part to help Singapore win international recognition of our cultural heritage," said Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director, CDL.

The CDL Green Gallery features, for the first time in Singapore, two eco-innovative features. The first is an eco-friendly bio-material known as Hempcrete (largely made from the hemp plant) that is highly durable and has very good thermal performance, which is used in the gallery’s external wall cladding. The second is a prefabricated modular system where its steel components are prefabricated and assembled in an off-site production facility, then hoisted by a crane into position onsite. It is easy-to-build, flexible and has a lower environmental impact.

The CDL Green Gallery is Singapore’s first zero energy Green Gallery. Click here to view the video on
how the CDL Green Gallery was created.


The 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award & Exhibition

For 50 years, CDL has given shape and form to everyday lives, creating vibrant spaces for living, working and playing. Beyond architectural icons, CDL has also been shaping the cultural landscape through arts initiatives such as the CDL Singapore Sculpture Award.

First held in 2003, the biennial CDL Singapore Sculpture Award is the first and only nation-wide sculpture competition. Over the years, this biennial Award has discovered and celebrated the creative endeavours of many young and aspiring local artists. Through the commissioning of the winning works for public display, CDL has enriched Singapore's cultural heritage with the installation of full-sized sculptures for the community's enjoyment.

In conjunction with City Developments Limited (CDL)'s 50th Anniversary and 50 Years of Greening Singapore this year, participants were invited to create works around the theme, "Celebrate!" which pays homage to Singapore's reputation as a City in a Garden, marked by decades of planning and cultivation. The designated sculpture site for this year's Award is within a recreational area at East Coast Park that is slated for redevelopment. If suitable, the winning work will be commissioned for installation within Singapore's most popular park.

The Award celebrated its 10th year in 2013, which saw a total of 305 submissions, the second highest number of entries over the last four competitions. Of these, some 20 were first-time participants in the Open Category. The Student Category continued to receive strong support from 23 secondary schools and tertiary institutions, with Temasek Polytechnic submitting 50 entries.

The winning works of the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award were unveiled by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, at the launch of the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award Exhibition on 2 October 2013 at The Arts House.

Twenty five of the most creative solutions, including the award-winning works, were on display at the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award Exhibition from 2 to 6 October 2013. The Exhibition is presented by CDL in partnership with The Arts House.

Winners of the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award with Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong,
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of
Communications and Information (2nd row, fourth from left), Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing
Director of CDL (left of Minister), Mr William Phuan, Director of The Arts House (right of
Minister), and members of the Award's Advisory Panel.

"As a homegrown developer, beyond just shaping our cityscape with architectural icons, we are honoured to have helped contribute to our social landscape and enriching our cultural legacy. Through this sustained arts initiative, we have unearthed talented young artists who have since gone on to make their mark in the arts arena locally and globally. To date, we have commissioned and installed a total of five public sculptures, with another iconic piece at the heart of the city at Raffles Place Park. Together with our partners, we hope to nurture a thriving community of local sculptural artists that will form one of the pillars of the arts and cultural identity in Singapore," said Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL.

Apart from organising the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration, CDL also completed the installation of a gleaming new public artwork at Raffles Place Park.

The winning artwork from the 3rd CDL Singapore Sculpture Award in 2007, "All the Essentially Essential" by artist / educator Mr Tan Wee Lit reflects the vibe of the buzzing Central Business District. Conceptualised based on the theme of "Aspirations", the 3-metre-tall interactive stainless steel sculpture is made up of an extensive array of "essential" items for work and play, with a deliberate gap that allows for viewers to step into the frame to complete the entire composition.


The playful, interactive artwork by local artist Mr Tan Wee Lit is sited at Raffles Place Park. Resembling a giant toy kit with elements depicting the "essential" items for 24/7 city living, viewers are invited to step into the frame to create their own

Click here to view the video on how CDL has been shaping the landscape, beyond buildings, through initiatives like the CDL Singapore Sculpture Award.

CDL’s Golden Gala Celebration

CDL celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Golden Gala dinner on Friday, 6 September 2013. Guest-of-Honour Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, led more than 400 local and international dignitaries to the celebrations at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove.

(Left to right) CDL Executive Chairman Mr Kwek Leng Beng, DPM Mr Teo Chee Hean,
CDL Managing Director Mr Kwek Leng Joo and CDL Director Mr Kwek Leng Peck.

The Golden Anniversary Gala highlighted CDL’s transformation over the last five decades, from a loss making company into a bellwether stock on the Singapore Exchange, turning CDL into the property and hotel giant it is today.

At the event, CDL Executive Chairman Mr Kwek Leng Beng and CDL Managing Director Mr Kwek Leng Joo presented to Deputy Prime Minister Teo CDL’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book titled "A Lasting Impression", which chronicles the CDL story.

True to the Group’s philosophy of giving back to society, CDL commemorated its Golden Anniversary by presenting Singapore with "Gifts to the Nation" – CDL Green Gallery @ SBG Heritage Museum, Singapore’s first zero energy green gallery, which was co-developed with National Parks Board (NParks); and My Tree House, the world’s first green library for kids which was co-created with the National Library Board (NLB). Two tokens that symbolically represented these two special gifts were accepted by Professor Leo Tan, Chairman, Garden City Fund and NParks Chief Executive Officer Mr Poon Hong Yuen for CDL Green Gallery, and by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer, NLB for My Tree House.

Guests were treated to a dramatic 3D-mapping presentation that gave insights into CDL’s humble beginnings, its diversification and growth into Singapore’s top residential developer and a global hotelier through its London-listed subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C).

The evening’s highlight was a cake cutting ceremony and celebratory toast accompanied by mock fireworks on stage.

(From right to left) CDL Executive Chairman Mr Kwek Leng Beng, Deputy Prime Minister
Mr Teo Chee Hean, CDL Managing Director Mr Kwek Leng Joo and members of the CDL’s
Board of Directors cut the specially-commissioned cake to mark CDL’s 50th anniversary.

In his 50th Anniversary message, Mr Kwek Leng Beng attributed the company’s success to his late father’s exceptional stewardship, insight and wisdom that laid the foundations upon which CDL is built today. He thanked the Board of Directors and a core of hardworking and loyal employees for their magnificent contributions over the years. Having developed over 30,000 homes and owning over 7.8 million square feet of lettable space, Mr Kwek said CDL has remained loyal to its roots and insistent upon the tag "Made in Singapore".

"It was the company’s desire to enhance Singapore’s reputation as a vital business hub, a stylish capital of Asian management, innovation, hospitality, architecture and commerce."
– Mr Kwek Leng Beng, CDL Executive Chairman

Mr Kwek acknowledged the Singapore Government’s leadership and farsightedness in providing political stability and establishing pro-business policies that created a dynamic business environment which had enabled home-grown companies like CDL to thrive and excel locally and grow globally.

My Tree House – World’s 1st Green Library for Kids opens
Guest of Honour, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (centre) with Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL and Ms Elaine Ng, CEO of NLB (extreme left), at the opening of My Tree House.

The World’s 1st Green Library for Kids at the Central Public Library was officially opened by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, on Friday, 31 May. A key community initiative in conjunction with our 50th Anniversary celebration this year, this unique green library is the special collaboration between CDL and the National Library Board (NLB) to promote environment conservation amongst children.

By leveraging on our green building expertise, we brought together 11 like-minded collaborators to realise our vision of nurturing green champions in a fun and interactive eco-environment. Click here to view the event video.

"My Tree House is a truly exceptional green showcase for Singapore. As CDL celebrates our 50th Anniversary this year, we take pride as a Singapore-grown company, to be able to make a positive community contribution with sustained impact to the benefit of our nation."
– Mr Kwek Leng Joo, CDL Managing Director

Click here to watch the video on how My Tree House was created.

The Most Awarded Private Developer at the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Awards 2013

At the recent BCA Awards 2013 held on 16 May – the "Oscars" for Singapore’s real estate industry – CDL is proud to celebrate building excellence across all dimensions.

Our award winning developments received recognition for sustainable and innovative design, quality workmanship, build ability and construction productivity.

Amongst the BCA accolades that CDL received for our projects, we are most honoured to be the first developer to receive the prestigious Quality Excellence Award – Quality Champion (Platinum) and Construction Productivity Award – Advocates (Platinum). Click to watch the BCA Awards 2013 event highlights.

In addition, on the international level, CDL was also honoured to be recognised for our excellence in environmental as well as health and safety management by UK-based safety organisation, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – putting Singapore on the global sustainability map.

In the ceremony held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel in the UK on 15 May, CDL was presented the International Dilmun Environmental Award – the first company outside of Europe to be accorded this high honour – and the RoSPA Gold Medal Award for Occupational Health and Safety. The RoSPA Awards scheme is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK. It recognises commitment to accident and ill health prevention and is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas.

As we look ahead to the next 50 years, we will continue to push the boundaries in each distinctive space we create to create new benchmarks of building excellence in Singapore and beyond.

CDL E-Generation Challenge

The first in the series of community events to commemorate this golden milestone was the CDL E-Generation Challenge held on 13 April 2013. This eco-adventure competition saw an overwhelming 88 teams, comprising over 500 youth participants, take part. The Challenge is in its fourth year, marking also its largest turnout to date.

Styled after the "Amazing Race", this annual green race provides a fun platform to foster eco-consciousness amongst youths. The flag-off and finish point for the CDL E-Generation Challenge 2013 was at City Square Mall, Singapore's first Eco-mall.

This year's theme, "The Green Future I Want", sought to put the responsibility on youth participants - aged 17 to 25 years old - to envision how their environment and the planet will transform in time to come. The five-hour long race saw participants comb all corners of Singapore - via public transport or on foot. Youths took part in exciting games at four pit stops with the following thematic zones: Adventure, Nature, Technology and Eco-Awareness.

At the end of the race, the top three winning teams took home cash prizes of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000 respectively, while Singapore Institute of Technology won the Institutional Challenge. In addition, teams from the National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Dunman High School also emerged as the top three institutions with the largest team representations.

The CDL E-Generation Challenge 2013 is supported by the Building and Construction Authority, National Environment Agency, National Parks Board and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Event partners include City Square Mall, ECO Singapore, Marina Bay Gallery, Singapore City Gallery and Star Horizon Learning.

Click here to view the event video.