Side Interest

Using Image Processing to Understand Twentieth-Century Architectural Colour Schemes in Singapore


The PI for this project is Professor Yeo Kangshua.

Increasing awareness of architectural heritage in Singapore has led to greater shared responsibility in preserving the urban fabric. There is now widespread public acceptance of conservation guidelines and the gazetting of listed buildings as part and parcel of the planning process. However, conservation efforts are hindered by gaps in our knowledge of historic buildings materials and architectural finishes. This is certainly the case with historic paint and colour schemes in Singapore.

This project utilises colour photographs of historic streetscapes in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s collection, taken as part of a heritage survey conducted from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. As colour photographs deteriorate over time, controlled digital restoration is necessary to provide more accurate colour information. Paint sampling will help to confirm the colour information extracted from the digital restoration of old colour photographs. Where possible, buildings that have not undergone substantial restoration since the survey are be selected for paint sampling as ground truth.

Researchers involved: Achala Athukorala, Ishara Paranawithana