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The Year In Review

2015 has proven to be an exciting time for architecture and design here in Singapore. From the opening of the much anticipated National Gallery Singapore to the Interlace being named “World Building of the Year” and the many programmes held as part of SG50, we look back at the important developments that made this year so special.

The Year In Review


December 30th, 2015

#1 National Gallery Singapore Opens


After three years of intensive planning, followed by another four years of extensive remodelling, the National Gallery Singapore, which sits within the old City Hall (built in the late ‘20s) and former Supreme Court (built in the late ‘30s), has finally opened its doors as the country’s largest visual arts destination. Earlier this year, we went on a special pre-opening tour of this landmark restoration and transformation project led by studioMilou Singapore and CPG Consultants. Read more.

#2 Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall Receives Top Honours from the Singapore Institute of Architects


Another important national landmark that reopened last year after undergoing refurbishment, the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall was named “Building of the Year” at the 2015 SIA Architectural Design Awards.

Integrating old and new, public and non-public, within the constraints of a much-loved monument provoked and challenged W Architects. “We were inspired by the dialogue between different parts of the building from different times and within close proximity,” said Mok Wei Wei. Read more.

#3 The Interlace Named World Building Of The Year


Singapore’s The Interlace, designed by Ole Scheeren, was awarded the prestigious title of “World Building of the Year” at the global World Architecture Festival 2015 awards for its radical take on high-rise living.

Described as “a vertical village”, The Interlace eschews the standard high-rise housing typology to be found in this region – clusters of isolated towers – in favour of apartment blocks that are stacked diagonally across one another to frame large-scale open courtyards. Read more.

#4 The Asian Civilisations Museum Gets New Wi ngs


The 140-year-old building that today houses the Asian Civilisations Museum has received its first contemporary extension. Designed by GreenhilLi, the architecture of the new 869-square-metre Kwek Hong Png Wing takes the form of a metallic titanium cuboid that juts out from the colonial neoclassical façade of the existing historical building. The riverfront extension, also by GreenhilLi, fronts the Singapore River promenade, reorienting the museum towards the waterfront and creating a new and welcoming open doorway to the museum. Read more.

#5 The South Beach Opens


The new Philippe Starck designed hotel along Beach Road opened its doors in the latter part of the year. Boasting colourful, playful and highly theatrical interiors, the project was exactly what one would expect from the French designer. Read more.

#6 Singapore Indesign Intimate

Collaborative project between Greenlam and WOW Architects at Singapore Indesign Intimate

This year’s Singapore Indesign Intimate presented a new format of our annual Indesign landmark event. The boutique design event took place over two weekdays instead of a Saturday, and was held in two locations: Red Dot Design Museum and National Design Centre (NDC) instead of multiple venues. The event strengthened close relationships and ties with and within the local design community through thought provoking and creative content. Read more.

#7 50 Years of Singapore Design


Perhaps one of the more ambitious exhibitions to be held in 2015, 50 Years of Singapore Design organised by the DesignSingapore Council documented the nation’s design landscape across 50 years of independence, showing its evolution and pivotal moments. Read more.

The exhibition was one of many programmes held across the year to commemorate Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

#8 International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies

Pixels Wave 2015 by digital artist Miguel Chevalier 

2015 marked a special year for the lighting community. Across the world, events were held to commemorate the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (as proclaimed during the UN General Assembly 68th Session).

The same goes locally with many talks, workshops and exhibitions held to mark the occasion.

#9 President’s Design Award 2015

Design of the Year: The Oliv by W Architects

Three designers and 13 designs were honoured at this year’s prestigious President’s Design Award. Among them were Air + Smart Mask, the world’s first innovative face mask with micro ventilators that circulate fresh air; Pour, an artisanal side table made without the use of a mould; The Oliv, a condominium with dramatic green sky terraces that provide exclusivity and privacy; and National Gallery Singapore, where the former City Hall and Supreme Court buildings were transformed into a world-class art gallery. Read more.

#10 Singapore designated UNESCO Creative City of Design

Singapore has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design. It is one of the first two ASEAN cities to get the designation. Together with Bandung (Indonesia), Budapest (Hungary), Detroit (the United States), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Puebla (Mexico), the country will now join 16 existing member Cities of Design in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). Watch this space for more on that story.








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