Singapore's Civic District displays the nation's rich architectural legacy for generations to come. It also showcases structural engineering innovation by CKM Consultants, the specialist that backed the government and developers in restoring landmarks such as the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Cricket Club and The Arts House at the Old Parliament.
Bringing 20 years of academia into practical use, Dr C.K. Murthy founded CKM in 1989. CKM forestalled scores of building demolitions by introducing advanced restoration methods which include reinforced concrete jacketing, steel plate bonding, cathodic protection and underpinning of foundations. With solutions such as CKMX polymer impregnation and fibre-reinforced plastics, CKM had cemented its leading role in Singapore's construction industry.
"We've restored many heritage buildings in Singapore," says Abhishek Murthy, managing director of CKM. "Assessing and upgrading existing buildings, bridges and structures are our strongholds - not many companies have done what we have in this niche market."
Joining his father's company in 1995 after obtaining engineering credentials, Abhishek Murthy pushed the envelope with the upgrading of Amara Singapore Hotel and shopping centre. CKM built 14 storeys atop the building without disrupting operations, allowing the client to recoup investments within a very short time. Another notable achievement is the preservation of Abdul Gafoor Mosque while simultaneously building a basement beneath the 125-year-old monument. Both projects were global firsts and received awards.
CKM has completed its involvement in the landmark conversion of the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings into Singapore's National Art Gallery. Using advanced equipment such as ground-penetrating radar, CKM ascertained the monuments' structural integrity for long-term adaptive re-use.
Providing its services throughout Asia - and as far as Seychelles to rehabilitate two luxury beachfront hotels - CKM is prepared to render innovative solutions to challenging projects. The company has a wholly-owned subsidiary in India, where it applied underpinning and jacking techniques to restore four blocks of tilted residential blocks.
"Come to us if you have problems no one can solve," Abhishek Murthy says.