Founders' Memorial to 'reflect Singapore's ideals', says committee, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Founders' Memorial to 'reflect Singapore's ideals', says committee

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Entry by Japan-S'pore team tops 5 shortlisted designs in international competition

Multiple green paths that converge in an amphitheatre will be a distinctive feature of the upcoming Founders' Memorial - to honour Singapore's pioneer leaders - that is set to reshape the Marina Bay area.

A team led by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates and Singapore firm K2LD Architects was announced yesterday as the winner of an international architectural competition to design the memorial on a 5ha site in Bay East Garden.

The team will be commissioned to develop the design of the memorial with the National Heritage Board and Gardens by the Bay. Construction work should start in 2022, with the memorial to be ready by 2027.

The linear design, which integrates lush greenery and foliage, was unanimously selected as the winner from five shortlisted designs by a seven-member jury.

The jury panel, led by Founders' Memorial committee chairman Lee Tzu Yang, commended the submission for representing "a bold and imaginative new type of memorial which rises out of the landscape".

"More than a singular building, it is a sustainable, environmentally progressive reflection of the ideals of Singapore," the committee said.

The memorial will have a viewing gallery, a lake, a forest trail as well as an amphitheatre for gatherings.

Said Mr Lee: "The winning design is sensitive and functional, and embodies the spirit and values of Singapore's founding team of leaders.

"It is a unique design, incorporating landscape and architecture, that brings visitors on a journey of discovery."

The jury found the design allowed for good accessibility and integration with Bay East Garden, connectivity to various transport nodes, was relatively easy to construct and maintain, and had a thoughtful layout that can be adapted to future programming and activities.

Mr Kengo Kuma, design lead of the winning team, said they took inspiration from the idea of a path that traces the legacy of Singapore's founding leaders.

"It simultaneously honours the past, and inspires the present and future. The design aims to be a 'living memorial', to be owned by each new generation of Singaporeans," he said.

Mr Ko Shiou Hee of K2LD Architects, the project architect, said the design's multiple paths, carved out of the architecture and landscape, represent Singapore's multiculturalism.

"These paths merge in the centre of the memorial, celebrating the shared values and ideals that we stand for as a nation," he said, adding that as a Singaporean, he was "especially excited" to co-lead the project.

Kengo Kuma & Associates' works include the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum in Kochi, Japan, the V&A Museum Dundee in Scotland and the National Stadium in Tokyo.

K2LD Architects' projects include Christ Methodist Church in East Coast Road and Yong Tai Red Cliff Visitor Centre in Fuzhou, China.

The international competition launched in January 2019 drew 193 submissions, and five shortlisted designs were showcased in a roving exhibition late last year. More than 50,000 people picked their favourite design, and the responses were taken into consideration by the jury when picking the winner.