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The Bench Awards

The results of a competition to commemorate Singapore’s former National Stadium through design are out. Here are the winners.

The Bench Awards


March 5th, 2013

Having served as the location for many significant events in Singapore’s history for more than three decades, the National Stadium finally closed its doors on 30 June 2007 to make way for a new mega project – The Singapore Sports Hub.

To commemorate this former national landmark, a design competition called ’Bench’ was launched late last year, inviting the public to submit designs for benches using seating planks from the old stadium.

Five winners were selected out of 130 entries and in addition, 25 designers, artists, and architects were invited to enter their own works to add to the dialogue on memories, heritage, and nationhood (watch this interview with commissioned designers of the Bench project).

The winners:

Plack by Rico Firmansyah

About Plack: Plack was coined from the words “plack” and “stack”. Plack refers to the ancient Scottish coin that has similar attributes to the iron wood used for this bench. Like an ancient artefact, ignored and forgotten, the iron wood has now been transformed into something that will help us remember the former Stadium. Stack reflects the Stadium’s architectural elements that the design embodies, like the stacking of seats, level by level.


Bench by Raymond Hon

About Bench: To each of us, the preciousness of the National Stadium differs based on personal experiences. The weathered texture of the wood on the top surface is retained to preserve a tangible part of history and is an attempt to preserve 34 years of service to the occupants of the former Stadium. This service continues in the form of a public bench.


Aesop | Unbreakable by Donovan Soon Chong Siong

About Aesop | Unbreakable: The design is inspired by the children’s classic fable of how single sticks can be easily broken but when put together cannot be easily broken. The design parallels the Singapore story as a small but strong nation, gathering strength from unity. The former Stadium was an emblem of that unity as Singaporeans of all walks of life gathered for a common purpose.


Bond by Sapp Cheng

About Bond: The design seeks to resurface the spirit of togetherness as experienced at the former Stadium. To emphasise unity, the horizontal segments are interdependent, even visually. The horizontal segments offset from another one, creating a perimeter, which tactfully fits to another bench.


Full Circle by Tang Wei Ming

About Full Circle: The former Stadium will be remembered for the times we were at the edge of our seats, gripped with excitement at the spectacle before us. They will also be remembered for the times families, friends, and strangers sat side by side, united by a common purpose and bounded by a national spirit. The circle encourages all to sit as one people like they did at the former Stadium. The depth is made shallow so people can lean closer. The circle also represents the Stadium’s journey, torn down and now the seating planks are reused. The spirit of the Stadium lives on. She has come full circle.

Some of the commissioned works include:


The Kallang Raw by Chang Yong Ter, Chang Architects


Scape Bench by VW+BS


Shelter Bench by Lanzavecchia + Wai Design Studio


Fragmented Anamorphic Bench by Warren Liu Yaw Lin of A D Lab


The Kallang Wave by Ministry of Design

The Bench exhibition will be held from 8 – 15 March 2013 at five locations – *SCAPE, Park Mall, Dhoby Ghaut Green, Handy Road open space, and The URA Centre ground floor atrium.

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