XTU architects have published their competition entry for the Founder’s Memorial in Singapore’s Bay East Garden. Inspired by the mangroves and banyans of Singapore which stand tall along the coastal regions of tropical areas, the memorial dives its routes into the ground, before shooting skywards.
The memorial is situated in the Gardens by the Bay, a set of tropical waterfront gardens woven into the urban fabric, bustling with activity, and described as the “green lung” of the city. The memorial was commissioned to “honor the legacy of the founding generation of leaders, to strengthen Singaporeans’ sense of solidarity, and to inspire future generations to reflect on the ideals and values upon which our nation is built.”
The memorial is divided into two distinct parts: a museum and a viewing tower. The museum is concealed underground, orbiting around a large garden and water patio, creating a microclimate that cuts visitors away from the city. The intent is to achieve a reflective ambiance through the scenography, with visitors transitioning through the history of Singapore, while from the outside, the museum mirrors a hill blended into the landscape under the legs of the viewing tower.
Rooted in the museum, the viewing tower is lifted by a series of columns representing the roots and canopy of a mangrove forest. The six columns portray the six core values of Singapore: building a multiracial nation, boldness and diligence, resilience and adaptability, integrity and incorruptibility, humility and teamwork, and values enshrined in the National Pledge.
The columns, covered with a perforated titanium sheet, support a platform that offers scenic views from a sheltered space and from the rooftop, allowing for private and public contemplation. The overall design of the viewing gallery tower is timeless, elegant, and aims to become an iconic landmark for the memorial.
Program: Cultural facilities / Exhibition spaces / Temporary exhibition / Belvedere / Restaurants / Educational spaced
Client: National Heritage Board
Location: Singapore, east garden by the Bay
Architects: XTU architects I Anouk Legendre + Nicolas Desmazieres I
Project Manager: Marie-Lou Valdes
Team: Valerian Hou / Nicolas Charles
Local Architects: CPG corporation
Environmental Technology and Engineering: LSE
Lighting Designers: Cobra
Rendering: B Douliery
Competition: March 2019
Building surface area: 13.700 sqm
Site footprint: 5 Ha
Cost: 68 M $