National Gallery Singapore – part one

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour

Discover the National Gallery in the Naked Museum Tour Photo Series! We’ll be taking a walk around Singapore’s largest visual art institution, starting from the renewed City Hall wing.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Supreme Court new facade

The National Gallery combines two historic monuments – The old Supreme Court and City Hall. Both buildings are restored as part of the creation of the new museum space.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - City Hall

As this photo series documents the Naked Museum experience, we’ll be tracing the footsteps of that tour – Starting from the City Hall wing of the National Gallery.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Courtyard

While City Hall kept its original facade, the insides are spruced up – a lot.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Courtyard, Atrium Windows

The new courtyard is white and minimal. Gone are the carparks and plants. Rich tones of wood offer some contrast, and acts as a visual marker of the ‘new’ element, and as a cue of movement between spaces.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Courtyard, Stairway to Basement

The National Gallery has a new basement level, which also connects the two buildings. Unlike the soft, white atrium upstairs, it’s quite mellow below.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / Basement, grande wide

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / Basement

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / The Singapore Courtyard

The tour began at the Singapore Courtyard (which is across the City Hall Courtyard). The section of the museum houses the DBS Singapore Gallery, home to a permanent collection of Singapore art from the 19th Century and present. The new staircase leads to the City Hall Chamber.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / The Singapore Courtyard, carved out of carpark space

Our docent showing an old photo of the original carpark.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Chamber, entry via windows

With the new staircase, we get to enter the City Hall Chamber through its windows. Pretty neat, huh.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Chamber, wood panels and hidden doors

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Chamber, beautifully restored - brass capital and marble columns

While many momentous moments in Singapore’s history happened here, in recent times it also served as a unique installation venue. It was used during the Singapore Biennale in 2006 and 2008. For those who remember, in 2006: Rashid Rana’s Departure Lounge projected a loop of the skies (as if the chamber is a flight cabin) on the white panels here. In 2008 there was a giant aerial map of Singapore on the floor, an artwork by Wit Pimkanchanapong where visitors can stick notes on the floor to physically ‘tag’ it.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / The Singapore Courtyard, overview

A view through a window door of the City Hall Chamber.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / The Singapore Courtyard, escalators to upper level

While different from the stark white walls of City Hall, the new elements of wood seem to work harmoniously.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall corridors

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / Glass ceiling leading to City Hall Rooftop

The golden skyroof is another new motif of the National Gallery. It’s mimetic – with all the trees gone, metal panels gently filter the natural light.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Rooftop

The roof of city hall is redeveloped into a two-level space, which functions mainly as a place to unwind and dine. Al fresco dining, right off the roof at City Hall!

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Rooftop

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Rooftop, straight view

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Rooftop, Padang view showing construction for NDP National Day Parade 2015

The viewing deck gives great views of the current construction for National Day Parade.

National Gallery Singapore Preview - Naked Museum Tour / City Hall Rooftop with people

You’ll find out how the two monuments are beautifully connected in the next part of the series. Check back soon!

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