Monday, November 8, 2010

Picture Blog #15 : National Art Gallery Open House

I took a last look at the old Supreme Court building and City Hall last month.

These two prominent landmarks in Singapore date back to the early British Colonial days and have seen some of our turbulent past (see Singapore History). Since Singapore gained her independence in 1965, they continued to be homes to important governmental offices. The first National Day Parade was held in City Hall in 1966 and for many years after that.

In those days. [Source]
In 2005, the Singapore government decided to turn the grand dames into a new national art gallery. In 2007, A design competition was launched and that drew 111 entries from 29 countries. Five proposals were eventually shortlisted.

France's Studio Milou Architecture walked away with the task to turn the two historical buildings into a contemporary art gallery. I cannot wait to see it in 2013. (see winning proposal)

The Singapore National Art Gallery has this to say about the winning scheme:
"The design scheme by Studio Milou Architecture elegantly integrates the two buildings at the roof level, with the use of a linear draped canopy, supported by tree like columns. This is done while still respecting the fabric of the existing monuments. The scheme also respects the existing entrances and introduces new ones to make the building porous at street level...."
I visited the buildings during the National Art Gallery open house. As I walked into Singapore's past, the sense of nostalgia was quite inevitable. However, that was compensated by the anticipation of what is in store in a few years' time. Meanwhile, I can only imagine how the new National Art Gallery will look like.

Let's take a glimpse of the past and a peek into the future:

The old Supreme Court building
along St Andrew's Road.

The dome is made of copper and appearing green
due to oxidization
. [Pic]

Main entrance -
The old Supreme Court building was

built between 1937 and 1939
. [Pic]

Sculptures on the pediment representing
prosperity through law, peace and plenty (right) and

violence and deceit and two legislator
s (left). [Pic]

The old Supreme Court building was built on the site of
the former Grand Hotel de L'Europe.

A Corinthian column. [Pic]

Ornate facade of the
old Supreme Court building. [Pic]

Inside the old Supreme Court building. [Pic]

Holding prison cells within the old Supreme Court building. [Pic]

Inside a prison cell. [Pic]

A cup left on the bench in a prison cell. [Pic]

Toilet within a prison cell. [Pic]

Toilet cisterns were installed outside the cells
to prevent suicidal attempts.

Prisoners were led to the courtroom
via this long and dim walkway.

Trap door leading to dock in courtroom. [Pic]

Inside the courtroom. [Pic]

The circular law library in the old Supreme Court building. [Pic]

Column and dome roof inside the law library. [Pic]

Dome roof in the law library. [Pic]

A view of the courtroom as seen from
the Chief Justice's Chambers.

The Chief Justice's desk in
the Chambers of the Chief Justice.

Attached washroom in the Chambers of the Chief Justice. [Pic]

Steps in the old Supreme Court building. [Pic]

On this day, the foundation stone of the old Supreme
Court building was laid. A time capsule,
slated to be opened
in year 3000,
was placed beneath it.  [Pic]

Next to the old Supreme Court building is the City Hall. [Pic]

The old and the new: City Hall Building,
with Raffles City building in the background
. [Pic]

Majestic Corinthian columns at City Hall. [Pic]

City Hall was first known as Municipal Building.
It was renamed in 1951 when Singapore
was granted city status.

City Hall was built from 1926 to 1929. [Pic]

A good view of the Marina Bay Sands
across the Padang.

Lion head door knocker on
the front door of City Hall. [Pic]

Message wall for visitors
during the open house.

Vanilla was there. [Pic]

Artist's impression of the new National Art Gallery. [Source]

This will come alive in 2013. [Source]

Sectional view of the supreme court exhibition spaces. [Source]

Sectional View of The City Hall Exhibition Spaces. [Source]

"Bring the past only if you are going to build from it." 
~Doménico Cieri Estrada~

Construction for art gallery to start next month (TODAY 22 Dec 2010)

Groundbreaking ceremony for National Art Gallery (Channel NewsAsia 27 Jan 2011)

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1 comment:

yesterdaysg said...

very nice walkthrough of the National Art Gallery, thanks for this post. :)