Provenance for the design was shaped by Singapore Art Museum’s urgent need for more exhibition space to house contemporary art.
The response was to float a large box above the existing courtyards of the former St Joseph’s Institution. A large column free exhibition space could be housed within the box, liberating the historical school building from the stresses of displaying large artwork. In respectful deference to the monument building’s heritage, the street facing façade of this floating box features a series of reflective glass panels running along its length, with each panel progressively angled towards the historical building’s dome—creating multiple and displaced reflections that shift as pedestrians walk past it. A sculpture garden now fronts the museum and the main entry to the museum is now shifted to Queen Street, where visitors arriving are immediately greeted by a generous outdoor plaza welcoming them into Singapore’s new contemporary art museum.