The Union Building and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Building

Designed by the famous architectural firm Swan & Maclaren, the Union Building (left) was officially opened in 1925. Situated along Collyer Quay, the structure was commissioned by the Union Insurance Society of Canton to house its offices in Singapore. Built using the latest materials and construction techniques, the seven-storey structure with its classical facade and striking tower was a major landmark along the busy waterfront. Later renamed Maritime Building, the building was demolished in the 1980s.The first official Singapore branch of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank was established in 1877 at Collyer Quay. In 1890, it bought over a site situated at the corner of Collyer Quay and Battery Road to put up a new building to house its offices. Construction works were completed in 1892, following which the bank moved in and operated from the same premises until the 1920s, when the structure was demolished for a new building to be built in its place (right). In 1974, the bank moved temporarily into several floors of the neighbouring Ocean Building before moving back to the previous site in the 1980s following the redevelopment of the office building.