February 17, 2020 - Singapore Art Museum - Artist impressions revealed for new building design
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February 17, 2020

Singapore Art Museum

Artist impression showing Singapore Art Museum’s new building design, featuring the front view of the former St. Joseph’s Institution building with a new purpose-built Sky Gallery and pedestrianised green space for art © Singapore Art Museum  

Artist impressions revealed for new building design

Singapore Art Museum
Singapore Art Museum (Administrative Office)
61 Stamford Road, #02-02 Stamford Court
Singapore 178892

T +65 6697 9730
enquiries@singaporeartmuseum.sg

www.singaporeartmuseum.sg
Facebook / Instagram

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) revealed artist impressions of its new building design. The bold new design will bring contemporary architecture into the museum’s heritage buildings—the former St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI) building, a gazetted national monument, and the former Catholic High School (CHS) building, a conservation building—to create an architectural landmark in the heart of Singapore's Bras Basah Bugis precinct. The redevelopment will also introduce new spaces for the public to experience and engage with art, and increase accessibility for visitors with special needs. This will be the first time that SAM will undergo major works since it was opened in 1996. Slated for completion by 2023, the redevelopment will enable SAM to better fulfill its mission as a champion of contemporary art in Southeast Asia, in active dialogue and collaboration with artists, partners, and audiences.

The building design
Provenance for the design was shaped by SAM’s vision to be a pivotal museum of contemporary art in the region, leading the global conversation of how art of the present affects our understanding of art from a Southeast Asian perspective. To accomplish this, there was an urgent need for more exhibition space to house the constantly evolving and multi-disciplinary nature of contemporary art.

"The Singapore Art Museum is Singapore's first museum dedicated to the visual arts. Since we opened our doors in 1996, we have actively introduced visitors to art from Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world—a mission we will continue with our new museum buildings. The new building design will have public spaces that are open and welcoming to all, inviting engagement and collaborations with artists, curators, local and overseas museums, and the general public. We will also carefully preserve the histories and stories of the museum's buildings and reflect them in the new design. We hope to combine heritage, contemporary art and architecture that places SAM on the world stage and create an iconic museum space that Singaporeans and visitors will love," said Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman, Singapore Art Museum.

Key changes that the public can look forward to will include purpose-built gallery spaces, suitable for the presentation of large-scale contemporary artworks and exhibitions. This will include the Sky Gallery overlooking the former SJI building, and new gallery spaces in front of the former CHS building. There will also be a new Queen Street entrance for SAM that will transform the inner courtyards of the museum into a large high-volume atrium to welcome visitors.

The original entrance of the museum and former driveway will be transformed into a fully pedestrianised green space for art. The two SAM buildings will be linked by a gallery-bridge to create a seamless museum experience, as visitors view exhibitions, attend museum events and programmes across both buildings.

Preservation and conservation efforts
As custodian of the former SJI and CHS heritage buildings, SAM’s redevelopment efforts will ensure that the historic integrity of these buildings is respected.

Preservation and restoration works will be carried out on the much older, former SJI building to ensure that its heritage architecture will be carefully maintained for future generations to enjoy. The façade of the CHS building will also be conserved and it will house the SAM Learning Gallery and workshop spaces.

The redevelopment will also introduce new features to the building interiors to allow for greater accessibility for museum visitors with special needs. In addition, the new museum will feature learning studios and a library, new public spaces, as well as retail and café spaces.

SAM Exhibitions in 2020
While the museum buildings close for redevelopment, SAM will continue to engage with audiences through contemporary art with partners both in Singapore and overseas. SAM’s international exhibition partnerships include its first collaboration with Kuala Lumpur’s ILHAM Gallery. In Singapore, the SAM Mini Mobile Museum will present Singaporean artist Melissa Tan, as well as a performance and multimedia work by Singaporean artist Choy Ka Fai.

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