Oct 22, 2010

National Art Gallery Open House - Gather Moments While You May

National Art Gallery Open House

To be honest, I have not heard of the song that has in its lyrics my title for today (I’m not that old, hor). Incidentally the two most famous heritage bloggers in Singapore - Chun See and Laokokok – got their blog names from the song. Which reminds me, maybe I should change my blog to "The Memories You Left Behind" or "Do you remember, baby" to ride on the good name of the song, heh. My title was inspired by Chun See when he blogged, using the same title, about fast disappearing scenes in Queenstown. I will do the same today but for "fast disappearing scenes" in our future National Art Gallery.

The National Art Gallery to be consists of two buildings – former Supreme Court and City Hall. These are national monuments and according to Preservation of Monuments Act of 2009:

15(1) No person shall, without the prior written permission of the Board, and whether as principal or agent –

  1. demolish, reconstruct, alter or make additions to a national monument or any part thereof;
  2. repair, renovate, repaint or redecorate a national monument or any part thereof;

Design by Chan Sau Yan Associates for National Art Gallery, ranked third by the judges. Note how they plan to redesign the space between the two monuments. Description from website - A main entry portal located between the two monuments is a brightly lit rectilinear enclosure with translucent walls that allow a view to the adjacent historic walls of the City Hall and the former Supreme Court.

The architectural firm in charge of the transformation into the National Art Gallery has a tough job to do. They have to respect the buildings as national monuments on one hand and yet breathe new life into them. If you look at the winning schemes from the design competition, the emphasis is on the integration between former Supreme Court and City Hall and the creative use of the space between the two buildings at ground and basement levels. Such integration and subsequent refurbishment into an art gallery will mean the removal and destruction of certain "heritage objects" that remind us of the building's former identity.

Caution Vehicles Turning Out
Can you believe it, vehicles used to come out of this side entrance of City Hall. See the "Caution, Vehicles Turning Out" sign?

City Hall Side Entrance
Close up of the previous photo. No photography allowed and entrance for authorized vehicles only? But we went in through this entrance that day! And we took many photographs!

SP Powergrid in City Hall
Once inside the vehicle entrance, you see this powergrid. The future National Art Gallery, with its priceless collection, will always be monitored by security cameras, for sure!

Supreme Court inside City Hall
Inside City Hall, we find evidence that the building once functioned as a court house. See this sign by the Supreme Court. During the Open House, barcamps were organized in these courtrooms.

Where is the lamp post?
The space between City Hall and former Supreme Court. I was piggybacking this mandarin tour group, hoping to sneak into the former Supreme Court (you know what happened eventually if you read my previous post), when I saw this. However I did not see any lamp post.

The Chief Justice's Entrance
The space between City Hall and former Supreme Court. This sign can be found just before the left turn into the backlane of the former courthouse. Where did the Chief Justice park his car last time?

No Crossing Sign DOWN
No crossing sign down in front of building, along St. Andrew's Road. The sign does not belong to City Hall obviously. I think the downed sign has to do with F1 Grand Prix which ended not too long ago. The workers were removing the racing fixtures along the road during Open House.

Wall of Signatures
Finally the wall of signatures. It is nice to get everybody to leave their mark on the wall but what happens after that? Will it "disappear" like the signs I posted earlier?


Adelin said...

you very cute leh. it says Open House and of course they allow photography for that day only lah. LOL. On normal days, photography is not allowed.

Icemoon said...

No lah, I mean the 'no photography' sign is a leftover from its Court days. The Supreme Court took over City Hall in late 80s.