National Gallery thanks construction workers with appreciation event, photoshoot

National Gallery thanks construction workers with appreciation event, photoshoot
PHOTO: National Gallery Singapore

SINGAPORE - The highly-anticipated opening of the new National Gallery Singapore will see the addition of a new landmark in Singapore's Civic District.

But while the gallery may now look like an architectural wonder, thousands of unheralded workers were involved in the restorative construction to transform two of Singapore's most iconic buildings, the former Supreme Court and City Hall, into the new museum.

To acknowledge and recognise the time and effort that went into its construction, the gallery recently held an appreciation event for more than 250 contractors and construction workers on Jul 3.

The event was co-hosted with the project's main contractor Takenaka, as well as consultants studioMilou Architecture and CPG Consultants.

Between 1,800 and 2,000 workers worked on the construction of the 64,000 sq m museum.

One of the most notable features of the project is the construction of a futuristic-looking statement roof, made of glass, steel and aluminium, that links the Supreme Court and City Hall buildings.

Modern requirements for a world-class art gallery, including appropriate lighting and air-conditioning, also presented the challenge of modernising the two buildings without compromising their historical legacy.

At the event, National Gallery Singapore chief executive Ms Chong Siak Ching acknowledged that the project had not been an easy one and thanked the workers for their contributions.

"We would like to thank all of you for being a part of this project, and for working under the hot sun, and sometimes the rain, and taking a lot of risks."

"You have all been involved in the design and construction of something that's very important to Singapore," she added.

National Gallery Singapore also shared photos of the event and featured stories and short profiles of some of the workers on Facebook.

One of the workers featured was Milon, a work safety supervisor, who said that one of the biggest challenges was battling natural elements such as rain which made the excavation site difficult to work in.

When it opens in Nov, the museum, which cost about $530 million to retrofit, will house the largest collection of Southeast Asian art in the world.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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