It was my first time in Singapore, and I was simply impressed: The sheer size of the buildings, the nature, the architecture, and how all the different nationalities live together. The area of Singapore is relatively small, it can be compared with the area of the City of Hamburg, however, the population of Singapore is nearly 6 million. Unfortunately, the weather was not so friendly. It was very warm, but it rained a lot.
During my first day at the office of ARCADIS Singapore, I met my host, Alisdair. He showed me the office areas and fire escape routes (“Safety Moment”). He explained the office structure and introduced me to the teams of EC Harris and Langdon Seah, which is located one floor below. After the introduction, a team meeting with Alisdair´s team was held, during which I had the opportunity to present myself, the Quest program in general, ARCADIS Germany, and my scope of work within the German team. After this meeting, Alisdair and I drove to the Citibank close to the airport, where we met Rene. Rene is working for EC Harris as a Program Manager for the Citibank, and we were able to exchange knowledge about our work scopes. Rene and Alisdair are very interested in our using VidasNet Software from Europe for their Asian work fields as well. Therefore, I was glad to establish a contact to our VidasNet specialists in Germany. Immediately after meeting Rene, we drove to another EC Harris project in the historic shop house district, where Alisdair explained to me the special tasks and goals that affected this project. Afterwards, we drove to the sports stadium center of Singapore where we met Mark (EC Harris), who presented us the results of his project. He is the Lead Independent Tester for the construction of the sports stadium center (Singapore Sports Hub). After this packed, busy and long day, the evening was perfected with a dinner at the Singapore River.
At the next day I had time for sharing knowledge with the colleagues from EC Harris and Langdon Seah. They told me about details of their work, and I explained my work in Germany, so we had a lot of information to exchange. When I met Sze Boon at the Langdon Seah office, he presented his huge project “Gardens by the Bay”. After the briefing, we were driven to the Garden by the Bay, and I was able to visit this project in reality.
Next stop Kuala Lumpur: Alisdair wanted me to see several new and completed projects in Kuala Lumpur, so we flew to Malaysia. In difference to Singapore, the country is very poor, but very impressive as well. In Kuala Lumpur, we met Gary (he works for EC Harris Singapore). He showed us a huge new project in down town. An old shopping mall and parking garage will be demolished and replaced by a new huge shopping mall with flats on the top. Afterwards Alisdair visited with me a completed shopping mall project in order to emphasize the difference between new and old structures and design of the malls.
Back in Singapore: The following two days, we had a conference call with Blackstone regarding projects in Asia. This is one of the clients we also work for in Europe. So we were able to share our knowledge about the client and the projects. In addition to this, Alisdair showed me several more shopping mall sites in Singapore, where they will start to work in the coming months and explained the scope for these projects.
The last stop during my Quest was a meeting by Mapletree, which is headquartered in Singapore. The company’s representatives were in Munich last month in order to acquire new projects in Europe and met several of ARCADIS’ business managers. Therefore, we used the chance to present ARCADIS Asia in Singapore, too. That was very helpful for the connection between Mapletree and the EC Harris office in Singapore.
The above is only a brief impression of my Singapore experiences. I can only recommend to everyone to expand your horizons and to participate in a Quest program. A very warm and grateful “Thank You” to the EC Harris and Langdon Seah colleagues in Singapore for making me feel so welcome, and especially to Alisdair for being my host. I was very much impressed by the extremely good organization of the week. It was a great experience, and I enjoyed the journey very much. Thanks to the Lovinklaan Foundation for supporting such a great program.