Ministry of Law takes over Red Dot Traffic Building: 5 things to know about the building

The Red Dot (Traffic) Building at 28, Maxwell Road.
The Red Dot (Traffic) Building at 28, Maxwell Road.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - The Red Dot Traffic Building in Tanjong Pagar will no longer be red after the Ministry of Law restores it to its original off-white colour in May.

The 1928 conservation building at 28, Maxwell Road, had re-opened in 2005 with a striking red coat.

Here are five things that might interest you about the Red Dot Traffic Building.

1. It used to be the Traffic Police's headquarters


The Traffic Police Station building at Maxwell Road. PHOTO: ST FILE

The building, which was constructed in 1928 by the British colonial government, was the headquarters of the Traffic Police in the 1930s.

The Traffic Police moved to its current location at Ubi in 1999, with a convoy of 72 motorcycles, one for each year at Maxwell Road.

2. It now houses a museum and art spaces

The building houses the Red Dot Design Museum, established in 2005, which features curated work of international designers at its various exhibitions.

The museum hosts Maad - Market of Artists and Designers - said to be the largest recurring creative marketplace in Singapore, on one Friday night each month.

Discussions are under way for the museum's future tenancy plans, while the building's other existing tenants will be making their own arrangements.

3. The building is home to several watering holes and diners

Visitors drop by not just for art fixes, but many also travel there to wine and dine.

The building has been home to several bars since its 2005 re-opening, including bar and eatery Boulevard Restrobar, which has been around since 2006.

One customer who declined to be named said in 2006 that he remembered paying fines there and getting charged for drink-driving when the building housed the Traffic Police.

4. Works on the building will be completed in 2019

With the Ministry of Law taking over the premises, a full refurbishment plan has been laid out, with works expected to begin in May this year.

The Ministry of Law said in a press release on Friday (Feb 3) that the new building will house, over four floors, about 50 new offices for international dispute resolution institutions, arbitration chambers, law firms and ancillary legal services.

Repair works for building features such as timber louvre windows, inner-leaf facade elements and cast-iron rainwater downpipes will also be carried out.

Award-winning Singaporean architect Mok Wei Wei has been appointed to lead the restoration efforts.

5. It was gazetted as a conservation building in 2007

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's site, the building was given conservation status on April 2, 2007.

The building was originally planned as living quarters for married junior officers of the Metropolitan Police Force.

The Neo-Classical building is "elegantly proportioned and treated to emphasise its importance as a government building".

SOURCES: eresources.nlb.gov.sg, The New Paper, The Straits Times, ura.gov.sg