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Singapore City Gallery reopens with more interactive and immersive exhibits

Discover Singapore’s development journey and the roles stakeholders play in shaping our future city; new initiatives showcasing good architecture and design also launched
  Published: 20 March 2019

Explore the possibility of locating our international airport somewhere other than Changi, find out how to generate less waste to ease the pressure on our limited land, and challenge yourself to design a street to meet the needs of all users.

Launched today by Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, the revamped Singapore City Gallery at The URA Centre takes visitors through the nation’s land use journey with a call to action to get more involved in shaping our city.

Also launched is AUDE Space, where visitors can explore good architecture and design works from small or boutique architectural and design firms. And installed in and around the building are 14 new benches fabricated from the historic wooden planks of the former National Stadium – part of the Re:Bench project to harness the creativity of young designers to enhance the vibrancy of public spaces.

Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Lim Eng Hwee said: “URA may be the national land use planner but, as you will see in the Gallery, many hands have helped to shape our city. In designing a more immersive and interactive Gallery, we want to enable visitors, particularly our younger generation, to discover how Singapore came to be the distinctive city it is today, the planning challenges we faced and still face, as well as the innovative spirit needed to overcome them.”

“The use of the Gallery as a showcase to promote good architecture and design works is in line with our belief that everyone has a role to play in making our city distinctive and liveable. Visitors will hopefully be inspired to explore ways on how they can be more involved in shaping this city that we all call home.”

Singapore City Gallery aims to educate and inspire public involvement
Since it first launched in 1999, the Gallery has played an important role in telling Singapore’s development story to the public, including the many planning challenges and the innovative solutions found to tackle them.

The country’s small land area has to support an entire spectrum of activities and their competing land needs. Beyond transport, housing, offices, shops and industries, land is also required for other uses such as reservoirs and security needs.

Spanning over 2,400 square metres, the refreshed version offers new interactive and immersive exhibits to help visitors better grasp these and our future challenges.
The new highlights include:

  • An immersive show that allows participants to journey through hidden infrastructural networks and urban systems.
  • An interactive group game that encourages players to identify traits of their perfect neighbourhood and discover which one in Singapore suits their needs.
  • An interactive exhibit that lets visitors try their hand at redesigning the Marina Bay skyline.
  • A permanent gallery “Mapping Singapore” where visitors can trace Singapore’s physical evolution over 100 years.
  • An exhibit of original models by renowned architects Kenzo Tange and I.M. Pei, who contributed ideas that helped shape Marina Bay into what it is today.

For more details on what visitors can expect in the revamped Singapore City Gallery, please see Annex A [PDF, 745kb].

A dedicated space for local architecture firms to showcase their work
Launched in tandem with the revamped Singapore City Gallery is AUDE Space (Architecture & Urban Design Excellence Space), a 140 square metre exhibition space located on the ground floor.
Its debut exhibition will showcase a variety of works by eight small or boutique architectural firms. These works range from roof gardens and airy courtyards to creative art spaces and residential abodes.

Browse the collection of models, images and drawings of these firms to discover more about them, their best works, and how they have contributed to the overall design of our built environment.

Exhibits in AUDE Space will be refreshed regularly. Interested firms can send in proposals to exhibit their works. These will be evaluated based on concept strength and design ideas, as well as the innovative use of technique and material.

For more details on the exhibits and how to apply, please see Annex B [PDF, 390kb].

In line with the aim to promote good architecture and urban design, AUDE Space also houses a collection of books on Singapore architecture and architectural firms. The latest addition to this collection is the new Contemporaneous Architecture publication which celebrates 70 architectural projects that have helped shape Singapore’s landscape in the last 15 years. Selected architectural books featured are available for purchase at AUDE Space.

For more details on Contemporaneous Architecture, please see Annex C [PDF, 200kb].

Engaging young designers to inject vibrancy into public spaces
At the launch, a new set of 14 benches fabricated from the last remaining batch of timber plank seats of the former National stadium was unveiled. The benches are winning designs from ‘Re:Bench’, a public competition opened to designers aged 35 and younger. 

These 14 benches – including the supersized “Horizon”, triple the height of a regular bench, and “Silhouette” with its undulating curves and large sitting area – are placed in The URA Centre for visitors to enjoy. The benches not only offer respite for tired legs, but also serve as conversational pieces.

Aimed at giving young designers the opportunity to stretch their creativity and a platform to showcase their work in public, the competition also hopes to encourage involvement in sculpting our public realm.

In addition to the set of benches at The URA Centre, two other sets are installed in Marina Bay and the Singapore Sports Hub for the public to enjoy.

For more details on the winners, designers, their bench designs, and the new Adopt-a-Bench charity programme, please see Annex D [PDF, 500kb].