Located in front of the Asian Civilization Museum, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is considered “one of the most historically versatile buildings in all of Singapore”. In the course of its nearly 150-year history, the Colonial landmark, which consists of two buildings and a clock tower linked by a common corridor, has served as a town hall, a hospital, and a war crimes trials court before becoming a focal point for arts and cultural entertainment. The complex is now slated for a $180m makeover that will preserve its heritage elements while providing new and improved facilities and performances spaces for the artists.
The design, led by Mok Wei Wei, the managing director of the Singapore based W Architects, pays homage to the original colonial structure while imparting a contemporary feel to the complex, particularly to the performance space which will be reduced in size to seat 600 instead of 900 people to achieve a more intimate setting for theatre goers and to maximise the performers’ engagement with the audience. Much emphasis will be placed on inserting new technologies to improve acoustics.
The courtyard, which serves as the main entrance to the complex, will be wholly revamped with a new glass roof and the courtyard facades of both structures will be updated. The Concert Hall façade, with its rusticated columns, will be restored while the Theatre’s façade will receive new pre-cast panels. The project is slated for completion in October 2013.