Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 04/18/2014 16:43 | By Channel NewsAsia

Asian Civilisations Museum to undergo revamp

Asian Civilisations Museum to undergo revamp

Asian Civilisations Museum to undergo revamp

SINGAPORE: The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) will undergo extensive renovations, transforming it into a new exhibition space for important artefacts.

This will be unveiled in phases beginning the third quarter of next year.

Situated by the Singapore River, the Asian Civilisations Museum is getting a makeover.

Parts of the museum are already closed to the public for upgrading works, and its classical frontage will soon get a facelift, along with additional gallery space.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said: "One of the expanded spaces is the China Gallery, which should be completed next year. I'm glad that the private sector has stepped forward to help fund this. The building will inject a fresh and modern element into the otherwise classical architecture of the museum."

The National Heritage Board told Channel NewsAsia that the gallery's expansion will yield more space to allow for a particular focus on ACM's Fujian collections.

The project is supported by donations from the Hong Leong Foundation.

The main lobby will also undergo an overhaul with new retail spaces integrated with the galleries to increase accessibility to the museum.

It will also improve the visitor experience by providing popular, relevant and affordable shopping and dining choices.

As part of its revamp, the National Heritage Board is exploring the conversion of the museum's waterfront area into a new entrance, which will house the lobby and gallery space, opening onto the Singapore River.

The National Heritage Board said it is currently working with the Urban Redevelopment Authority on the construction and design.

Dr Alan Chong, director of Asian Civilisations Museum, said: "Our idea right now is, the area should be open and distinguishable from the historic architecture, so it will be open, light-filled and you can always see that it's an addition to the old building, which is one of the great historic structures of Singapore.

"In that sense, it should be modern and feel different. At the same time, we also want people to have a way in... they enjoy some shopping some beverages, some entertainment, they will also be engaged with the museum and see what's on offer."

The extensive renovations also mean the end of the lease for long-time F&B tenant Indochine, which opened in 2003.

Mr Michael Ma, CEO and founder of Indochine, said: "There's no venue such as this, as I call it Indochine Waterfront, right on the waterfront. Indochine is all about the colonial time of the French, Indo-Chinese food, the culture that came to Singapore and ACM was so well-matched and that's what attracted us to come to ACM in the first place."

The National Heritage Board said Indochine and interested F&B operators can bid for the new restaurant and other retail spaces once plans are firmed up.  - CNA/de

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