The Cathay Building was opened in 1939 by Dato Loke Wan Tho as the headquarters for the British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation. Located at 2 Handy Road in the Museum Planning Area of Singapore, it was most known for its air-conditioned theatre, then a technological marvel and the first to be built in Singapore. Cathay Building is also the first and tallest skyscraper not only in Singapore but also in South-East Asia. Height of 79.5 metres.
Redevelopment and preservation
Cathay announced its plans in the late 1990s to redevelop the whole complex. The front facade of the building was gazetted as a national monument on 10 February 2003. Thus the new building incorporates conservation of the original art-deco façade of the 1930s combined together with a modern-day avant garde design by Paul Tange of Tange Associates Japan and RDC Architects Pte Ltd Singapore. The Cathay as it is now known, opened on 24 March 2006. The building houses retail, food & beverage outlets and an 8-screen Cathay Cineplex which includes The Picturehouse. The Cathay Residences opened towards the end of 2006.