Project details

World Architecture Festival Winner 2015– Colour in Exterior Architecture 

Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) 2015 Annual Awards – Honourable Mention-Institutional Category

Global Design Competition Winner.

One of the most distinctive features of the building is its glazed geometric façade inspired by the baoli, a traditional Indian step-well that is a water source and meeting place for village communities. During the day, the double skinned façade acts like a mirror reflecting the vibrant streetscape of the adjacent conservation shophouses. Come nightfall, it reveals the rich hues of the interior mural walls as color-changing LED lights dance to the rhythm of classical Indian music, creating a glowing lantern for Little India. The centre was designed as a living museum where visitors start at the 4th level and after viewing the interior gallery step out into this double skin volume where they can see the rich tapestry and urban environment of Little India before stepping back into the galleries at Level 3. This sequence of taking the visitor inside and outside makes this a truly urban building solution.

The inside wall of this double skinned façade also serves as a canvas for artists, who have been commissioned to create mural installations using contemporary and archival images representing the local Indian community. The artworks will be changed every few years, allowing the identity of the building to continuously evolve. 

The commission for the Centre was awarded after URBNarc, in collaboration with Robert Greg Shand Architects, won an International design competition in 2011 organized by the Singapore Institute of Architects. 

Done in collaboration with Robert Greg Shand Architects - Design Architect / Qualified Person / Registered Architect / Interior Design
Client: National Heritage Board (NHB) and Ministry of Communication and Arts (MICA) 
Photo Credits: Aaron Pocock