SINGAPORE- Maxwell Chambers, which houses Singapore's international arbitration centre, will be tripled in size to further strengthen the Republic's position in this arena.
The Ministry of Law announced on Thursday (Jan 5) that it will add 120,000 square feet of floor space to enhance the centre.
This includes taking over, in May this year, the Red Dot Traffic Building - a conserved heritage building next door that houses the Red Dot Design Museum.
Built in 1928, the state property on 28, Maxwell Road, was the Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters for over 70 years till 1999. In 2005, it reopened in red hues with the museum as one of the bigger tenants.
Currently on lease to The Traffic, its tenancy will expire on April 30 this year.
Restoration works will start in May this year and will be completed in 2019.
Award-winning Singaporean architect Mok Wei Wei has been appointed to lead the restoration.
Among various features, the new building will house about 50 new offices for international dispute resolution institutions, arbitration chambers, law firms and ancillary legal services, over four floors.
As for the existing building, it will house hearing and preparation rooms for commercial dispute resolution cases.
An overhead link-bridge will also be constructed to connect the two buildings for easy access between offices and hearing rooms.
The complex supports the growth of dispute resolution institutions in Singapore, which have seen significant increases in caseload, added the ministry in its statement.
Since it was established in 2010, Maxwell Chambers has become one of the most preferred hearing facilities in the world, the ministry said.
Last year, 212 arbitration cases were heard at Maxwell Chambers, a 18 per cent increase over the 179 cases in 2015.
As demand grows, existing tenants have also called for space to grow their operations.
Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Law Ms Indranee Rajah said that one of Singapore's key strengths as an international dispute resolution centre is its legal system which is neutral, stable, and is trusted by businesses.
"We will build on this and strengthen our eco-system of laws, lawyers, institutions and infrastructure, so that we can better serve the needs of businesses and take our international dispute resolution services to the next level," she added.