SCDA Architects to helm Singapore Art Museum's $90m revamp

The revamp of the Singapore Art Museum will connect its two buildings with a link bridge, improve accessibility, and enable the premises to house large-scale installations.
The revamp of the Singapore Art Museum will connect its two buildings with a link bridge, improve accessibility, and enable the premises to house large-scale installations.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based design studio SCDA Architects will helm the $90 million makeover of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) buildings, according to a press release on Tuesday (April 3).

The museum of contemporary South-east Asian Art has not been upgraded since it opened in 1996 and this revamp will connect its two separate buildings with a link bridge, improve accessibility for viewers with special needs, and enable the premises to house large-scale installations. It is slated to finish in 2021.

The main SAM building is the former St Joseph's Institution (SJI) along Bras Basah Road, a gazetted National Monument. This has been closed to the public since last April but programmes continue at the museum's second site, SAM at 8Q, the former Catholic High School located along Queen Street. From January next year, SAM programmes will be held in other museums, institutions and community spaces.

The revamp was announced in April last year. An open tender for the project was called from last September to December, with SCDA Architects winning the bid.

The firm is helmed by architect Chan Soo Khian and has received numerous international awards for their work. In 2016, it received the President's Design Award for the National Design Centre in Middle Road as well as for the Build-To-Order HDB project, SkyTerrace@Dawson. The latter also won the Royal Institute of British Architects Award for International Excellence.

The Government will fund up to $80 million of the SAM revamp, and the museum will raise the rest.

As part of the Singapore Heritage Festival this month, members of the public can sign up for free daily tours of the main SAM building, which dates back to 1855.

There will also be immersive theatrical experiences performed in the structure and viewers can also sit in on archaeology digs around the premises, conducted by the Archaeology Unit of the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. For more details visit www.singaporeartmuseum.sg