The urban redevelopment authority afforded Mr Choe the opportunity to play a key role in Singapore’s urban renewal program, the legacy of which is reflected in the contemporary Singapore masterplan.
Mr Choe was awarded a Bachelor of Architecture degree, a Diploma in Town & Regional Planning from the University of Melbourne and a Fellowship Diploma from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow Member of the Singapore Institute of Architects, Singapore Institute of Planners and Royal Australian Institute of Architects. He is also a Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Town Planning Institute, Royal Australian Planning Institute and the American Planning Association.
Mr choe was the first architect and town planner to return to Singapore from overseas. He was appointed as the first architect and planner for the newly established Housing and Development Board and helped plan many of the housing estates and public housing in Singapore’s public housing program.
He subsequently went on to form the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in 1964 and became its first General Manager to undertake comprehensive urban renewal and redevelopment of Singapore’s Central Areas. His role was to clear slums and create a modern and vibrant commercial program. The legacy of his role is reflected in the contemporary Singapore Master Plan. He left URA and became a Senior Partner in one of the largest architectural practices in Singapore.
Mr Choe continues to be a prominent architect and town planner in Singapore. He became the Chairman of the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC). He was behind the transformation of Sentosa Island, from a British military base into a popular recreation and international tourist destination. His retirement from that position in 2004, marked the end of his 24 year association with Sentosa. He subsequently also formed Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd (SCPL) and became its first Chairman. Sentosa Cove became the first life style waterfront housing and is today the most successful and well known landmark in Singapore.
Mr Choe was named in the Singapore National Day Awards in 2001 and received the Distinguished Service Order. Mr Choe has also been Chairman of Pasir Ris Resort Pte Ltd, a Trustee of NTUC Income and member of the Singapore Tourism Board. He was also a Director of Keppel Land Limited and currently sits on the Board of several listed companies.
He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 1967, the Meritorious Service Medal in 1990, the Distinguished Service Order in 2001, and a Gold Medal from the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) in 2004. The SIA Gold Medal ward, first introduced in 1998, is the Republic’s highest award for architects who have made significant contributions to architecture during their lifetime and is awarded only every two to three years.