We will be having an Open House on the closing weekend of LIGHT TO NIGHT FESTIVAL: TRACES AND ECHOES. Enjoy FREE ADMISSION to all exhibitions including MINIMALISM: SPACE. LIGHT. OBJECT. There will also be extended hours to all exhibition galleries including concourse galleries on Fri & Sat from 10am–10pm. Come experience the festival before it closes! Click here to learn more
National Gallery Singapore occupies two national monuments: former Supreme Court and City Hall.
Landmarks of Singapore’s colonial past and journey to independence, the buildings have borne witness to many pivotal events in the nation’s history.
Take a look at the timeline below to find out the key milestones in their history.
Plans were drawn up by the Architects’ Department to build the Municipal Building.
The Municipal Building was completed and declared open on 23 July 1929.
Plans for a new Supreme Court were approved and Frank Dorrington Ward’s design for the building was unveiled to the public.
Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas, laid the foundation stone of the Supreme Court building on 1 April 1937. Underneath it is a time capsule containing newspapers dated 31 March 1937 and currency from the Straits Settlements. It is due to be retrieved in the year 3000.
Opening of the former Supreme Court building by Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas.
The Japanese occupied Singapore, renaming it as Syonan. The headquarters of the Syonan Tokubetsu Shi (Municipal Administration) was set up in the Municipal Building Singapore and Supreme Court was used as the Syonan Supreme Court.
Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten accepted the surrender of the Japanese forces on 12 September 1945, on behalf of the Allied forces in the City Hall building.
Singapore was declared a City and the Municipal Building was renamed the City Hall building.
The then-Prime Minister Lee and members of his Cabinet took their Oaths of Allegiance and Oaths of Office on 5 June 1959 in the City Hall Chamber.
Yusof Bin Ishak was inaugurated as Singapore's first head of State in the City Hall Chamber on 3 December 1959. Singapore's national flag and anthem were unveiled on this day.
The offices of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Culture were set up in the City Hall building.
Wee Chong Jin was appointed the first Asian Chief Justice of Singapore, a milestone in Singapore’s judicial history where his predecessors had been British.
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew moved part of his office and the whole of the Cabinet office from City Hall building to the Istana annex. Foreign Minister Sinnathamby Rajaratnam took over Mr Lee’s office.
Additional courtrooms were constructed in the City Hall building to accommodate the increased workload of the Supreme Court.
Wee Chong Jin retired as Chief Justice and Yong Pung How was appointed as the new Head of Judiciary
City Hall and former Supreme Court buildings were declared National Monuments.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day Rally Speech, that City Hall and former Supreme Court buildings would be converted into the new National Gallery Singapore.
The Supreme Court moved to a new building, costing $208 million. This was designed by Lord Norman Foster and had 12 civil courts, eight criminal courts and three appellate courts.
A two-stage international architectural design competition for the National Gallery was launched.
There were a total of 111 entries from 29 countries worldwide. Five proposals were shortlisted at the end of Stage 1. The top three winning schemes for the competition were announced on 29 August 2007.
A public exhibition was held on October 2007.
Studio Milou Architecture from France in collaboration with CPG Consultants Pte Ltd was selected as the winning entry for the architectural design competition.
Takenaka-Singapore Piling Joint Venture (TCSP) was appointed as the main construction contractor for the project.
Two archaeological digs were held on the site of National Gallery Singapore. The digs uncovered artefacts from the 14th to the 19th centuries, shedding light on the rich trade networks and livelihoods of the past.
Restoration works on the Supreme Court's tympanum commenced.
The first of the link bridges that connect City Hall and former Supreme Court building was installed.
National Gallery Singapore welcomed more than 170,000 visitors during a two-week long Opening Celebrations from 24 November - 6 December.
Grand Opening of National Gallery Singapore with Guest of Honour, President Tony Tan.