The art of preservation

project managers navigated strict requirements to transform historic buildings -- and elevate Singapore's culture

Singapore is recognized around the world for its thriving economy. But the city-state doesn't have much of a reputation for culture or historic preservation. To signal that it's serious about art and historic architecture, in 2005 the government launched a 10-year, SGD532 million project to build National Gallery Singapore. In the shadow of Singapore's modern skyscrapers, the project team created a home for the world's largest collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art by transforming two colonial-era buildings -- the former City Hall and Supreme Court building -- into one 690,000-square-foot (64,103-squaremeter) museum. When the museum opened in November, it attracted 170,000 visitors in the first two weeks.
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