SCDA's stunning museum appeals to kids and adults alike
Singapore’s toy museum is located along Seah Street, facing the side entrance to the historic Raffles Hotel. The site, a former shophouse, is just 5.5m wide and 27.5m in length. The height of the new building was constrained by planning regulations and it was limited to five storeys.
Flanked by two shophouses the front and the rear elevations of the new infill building are designed to control the amount of natural light entering the exhibition spaces. The mint condition toy exhibits are sensitive to UV light with prolonged exposure causing the exhibits to deteriorate and its colour to fade.
The solution to the problem was to design the façade of the museum with glass exposed on the edge. A series of 26 curved edge glass panels placed on edge and sandwich between aluminium panels extends from the second storey to the roof of the building. This allows a controlled amount of light into the exhibition spaces through the edge of the glass. The curved edge glass provides an crystalline façade that is simple yet dynamic as one passes in front of the building. It is symbolic of a clean modern box that houses the antique mint condition toys within.
Entry into the museum is through a ramp overlooking a high ceiling café below. The double volume provides for large exhibits and connects the basement café to the street level.
A column free space is created internally and a series of double and triple volume spaces are interlinked with a lift and stair core. In section alternate floors vary spatially, permitting smaller spaces to be ‘toy boxes’ with controlled interiors that are juxtaposed within large-scale volumes of light filled space overlooking the street. The rooftop is designed as an open terrace with views over the urban landscape. High above the street, it will be used for events and functions.