Located within the bustling Central Business District along Shenton Way with the Marina Bay skyline as a backdrop, the 11-storey Centre is just a stone’s throw away from the home of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra — the iconic Singapore Conference Hall (SCH). Together with the SCH, it forms the cultural heart of the Chinese Singaporean community. The design of the Centre was developed by DP Architects Pte Ltd to be a contemporary expression of traditional Chinese architecture.
Chinese architecture emphasises a three-tier hierarchical division — every building has a base that elevates the building and connects to the ground, a body that houses the functions, and a crown that shelters the building and connects with the sky. The SCCC also adopts this three-tier division, with a two-storey ‘urban living room’ as the base that connects to the city, a podium body from the third to the sixth storey to house its facilities and carpark, and a glass-box crown where cultural performances and activities are celebrated.
The influence of Chinese decorative elements
The architectural expression of SCCC also takes its cue from traditional Chinese landscape painting and garden design, playing with composition, texture, decoration, and symbolism in different areas of the building.
For instance, the architects installed entrance portal frames, resembling Chinese doorways, to spatially divide the drop-off from the building spaces. Chinese decorative elements such as the capping (瓦当), ceiling, and panels also add their imprint on the overall design. Inspired by the aesthetics of Chinese-style gardens, the rooftop space has incorporated moon-gates and micro-landscapes. Using a neutral grey tone as its base colour, the architects incorporated finishes of light grey granite, soft grey carpeting, and dashes of gold and red. The colours were carefully selected to give a hint of traditional Chinese architecture while retaining its contemporary look.