The Memorial to the Civilian Victims of the Japanese Occupation, usually called the Civilian War Memorial is one of Singapore's most famous iconic landmarks of heritage. Located within the War Memorial Park at Beach Road within the Central Area, Singapores central business district, it is usually easy to spot in most backdrops encompassing the CBD landscape.
The design itself was conceived by one of Singapore's most renown architects, Leong Swee Lim (1935-2002) of Swan and Maclaren Architects, whose design subsequently won first prize in an open design competition. The design of the structure has been one of Swee Lim's most famous and significant contributions towards the legacy of Singapore's architectural history. The architect's conception of the four identical pillars each 70m high, represents the shared experiences and unity of the four major races of Singapore - Chinese, Malay, Indian and other races. Henceforth the memorial is essentially one of Singapore's iconic landmarks of heritage that truly embraces the virtues of a multi-racial and cultural city, whose unity is inevitably one of the pillars for Singapore's modern day success, harmony and prosperity.
The memorial has also been affectionately described by some as resembling four giant chopsticks. Unseen to the eye, the remains of the unidentified war victims are buried beneath the monument and truly adds to the material significance of the structure whose history it represents.