National Design Centre

Category: C3 Community Buildings (Community Centres/Libraries/Museums etc.)
Architect: SCDA Architects Pte Ltd
Client: DesignSingapore Council


Design Award


The jury commends the tremendous effort behind this architectural marriage of old and new as well as movement and effects in this institutional project. Respecting the essence of the existing conserved building, the architect seeks to draw people into the Design Centre from the surrounding streetscape through the play of volumetric elements, super-graphics, materiality of steel frames and aluminium mesh screens, as well as the glazed retail spaces to entice movement of people in a certain direction showcases. An array of enhancement achieved by adaptive elements, where cladded boxes are strategically positioned to optimize for a vast array of areas for display and exhibitions, also helped creates interest to increase the flow of people into the previously enclosed courtyard. The proficient control of this palette of rich tectonic qualities of light, shade and tactility, through a mixture of solids and voids, is apparent through the juxtaposition of the interior and external, as well as the existing and modern façades. Moreover, an open landscaped terrace on the existing flat roof timber decked area provides a space for the public’s interaction. In all, the National Design Centre is a refined piece of architecture that successfully showcases accomplished architectural techniques in retrofitting an old canvas, to inject the building with relevance and fresh lease of life.