SINGAPORE — The new Science Centre, to be located next to the Chinese Garden MRT Station, is targeted for completion around 2025, the attraction said on Friday (24 May).
The announcement came as the Science Centre Board (SCB) awarded its consultancy tender to the team led by Architects 61.
The new centre is envisaged to create an immersive learning experience for visitors, with improved educational facilities such as specialised laboratories to complement learning in schools.
With its setting in a garden by the Jurong Lake, there will be opportunities to offer outdoor programmes and activities, said the SCB in a media release.
Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, chief executive of Science Centre Singapore, said, “Together with our appointed team of consultants and in partnership with the community and our stakeholders, we look forward to re-imagining how a trip to the new Science Centre will continue to inspire lifelong appreciation of the importance and impact of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”
Proposal reflects ‘boldness’ of aspirations
A total of 24 consultant teams responded to the SCB’s expression of interest exercise last year. Five of them were shortlisted, and invited to submit concept designs and fee proposals.
SCB said in the media release that Architects 61, in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Ltd, earned the nod with a proposal which “reflected the boldness of scientific endeavour and future-focused STEM aspirations that the Science Centre has always strived towards”.
The proposed design of the new Science Centre is said to capitalise on the waterfront location and garden setting, and is planned to be well-integrated with Jurong Lake Gardens and future tourism developments. It is also said to create a “strong sense of arrival” for visitors from the Chinese Garden MRT station.
Under the tender agreement, Architects 61 will act as the principal consultant and lead the consultant team for the project. Over the next few years, stakeholders such as schools, community and industry partners will be engaged on their views for potential exhibitions and programmes.
Detailed design to be ready next year
SCB expects the new Science Centre’s detailed design to be ready by next year.
While the new centre is being built, the current Science Centre Singapore – which was opened in December 1977 – will continue to operate and renew its exhibits and programmes. Following its eventual relocation, the existing building at Jurong Town Hall Road may be re-purposed for other uses.
Plans for a new Science Centre were first mooted in 2008 by then-National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan. However, they were put on hold because of budget constraints.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the intention to build the new Science Centre during the 2014 National Day Rally. Then-Education Minister Heng Swee Keat was tasked to set up a committee to “re-imagine and develop” the new centre.
Other Singapore stories: