The Istana is one of the most iconic locations in Singapore, and continues to be of great historic and horticultural significance. The sprawling gardens in the Istana are an echo through history of Orchard Road’s origins as nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards. Singapore is fulfilling our vision as a City in a Garden, thanks in large part to the Istana’s role as one of the original Gardens in our City. Flora and fauna that managed to thrive in the Istana were transplanted in other parts of Singapore, including the Botanic Gardens, which has become our first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Likewise, as a homegrown real estate company, CapitaLand has tried to nurture and shape the urban landscape in the global cities where we operate, drawing from our experiences in Singapore. One of the most beloved trees in the Istana is the mighty Tembusu tree next to Sri Temasek - this particular tree predates even the Istana itself! The Tembusu is characterised by its robustness and staying power, and happens to be native to our Singapore. It is therefore apt that the Istana celebrates its sesquicentennial in 2019, the same year that Singapore commemorates our bicentennial. May the Istana continue to bring joy and comfort to generations of Singaporeans.
We hope that this updated edition will bring more communities together to appreciate Singapore’s natural heritage and its significance in our live, work and play environment. In the book, you will find a ‘Walking among the Significant Trees of the Istana’ trail guide specially curated for the first time.
As we celebrate the Istana’s heritage and the beauty of its treasured trees, CapitaLand remains committed to proudly fly the Singapore flag from the “trees” we build at home and abroad. After all, we have not come this far, only to get this far.
Happy 150th anniversary!
Lee Chee Koon Group Chief Executive Officer