In March 1951, a Dutchman by the name of Dick Dusseldorp moved from the Netherlands to Australia and set up a company named Civil and Civic on behalf of Dutch construction companies Bredero's Bouwbedrijf and The Royal Dutch Harbour Company.
Civil and Civic would then go on to establish itself as one of Australia's premier building companies completing projects like the Stage I (podium) of the Sydney Opera House (1963) and also Blues Point Tower (1962) - regarded as the world's first high rise strata titled building.
In 1958, Dusseldorp set up @lendlease as a publicly listed company by which to finance Civil and Civic's growing operations and in 1961, Lendlease acquired Civil and Civic from its former Dutch owners.
We know today that Lendlease would go on to become one of the world's largest building and development companies with a large presence in Singapore.
However, what most Singaporeans do not know is that Lendlease's presence in Singapore dates much further back to 1973, when Civil and Civic entered the Singapore market as the very first foreign builder awarded a HDB project.
In 1973, the company established a joint venture company with local builder Lee Kim Tah Pte Ltd named Progressive Builders Pte Ltd which pioneered the "Progressive Strength System" of building which was meant to speed up construction speed. The JV company was awarded a $45 million contract to build 6000 HDB flats starting with some 1300 flats in Ghim Moh estate.
What resulted in this first phase of the contract were blocks 1-6 Ghim Moh Road, six blocks of 15-storey 3-Room HDB flats which started construction in October 1973 and were completed in 1975. Each of the six blocks originally consisted of 224 3-Room flats making a total of 1344 flats in this first phase. All six blocks are still standing today and can be seen in this image I made.
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