Key Consultants Appointed for Refurbishment of Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall
Key Consultants Appointed for Refurbishment of
Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall
The National Arts Council (NAC) has appointed the key consultant team comprising the architect, acoustician, theatre planner, mechanical & electrical (M&E) engineer, civil & structural (C&S) engineer and quantity surveyor to undertake the refurbishment ofSingapore’s two national monuments, Victoria Theatre (VT) and Victoria Concert Hall (VCH).
W Architects Pte Ltd was appointed the architect, with Architectural Restoration Consultants Pte Ltd (ARC) as its conservator to work on heritage elements of the buildings. An established local company, W Architects is backed by a proven track record in conservation and restoration projects such as the redevelopment of the National Museum of Singapore. ARC has worked on many significant local conservation projects involving buildings that bore architectural similarities to those of VT and VCH like The Arts House and the National Art Gallery.
Taking on the role of acoustician and theatre planner is Arup Singapore Pte Ltd, whose projects include the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and Fusionopolis Phase 1. T. Y. Lin International will provide the M&E and C&S services, and Rider Levett Bucknall LLP is appointed as the project manager and quantity surveyor.
The project will restore the old world charm of the 149-year-old venues while re-energising them to meet modern functional demands. Once completed, the venues would better connect with and bring vibrancy to their surroundings, and enhance the attraction of theEmpress Place as an arts precinct for Singaporeans and international visitors.
The appointed firms will conceptualise, plan and implement relevant refurbishment works in consultation with NAC, and the Singapore Symphonia Co Ltd, which manages the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO). Both organisations manage VT and VCH respectively.
An open two-stage tender was held and submissions were assessed based on the vigorous Quality-Fee Selection Method developed by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. This is a competitive selection method that examines both the quality factors such as the bidders’ project organisation, conservation and restoration plans and quality management frameworks, as well as fee proposals.
The consultants were appointed based on their acute understanding of the project nature; track records in building and refurbishing performing arts venues, conservation and monument buildings; financial standing and stability; and the ability to integrate with other consultants on aspects like acoustics and theatre design.
VT and VCH will undergo construction under three central guiding principles:
Updates will be made to various building aspects to meet contemporary standards. Repairs will be carried out, and mechanical and electrical elements of the buildings replaced. These buildings will be modernised with the installation of fire control systems and security measures, refurbishment of amenities, and incorporation of environment-friendly building elements.
The façade of the buildings will be retained, and some elements belonging to the original 1905 structure will be restored. This includes reinstating the central passageway between VT and VCH which leads to The Arts House.
New spaces will be created to accommodate building services and for commercial rental and amenities like a café. Spaces will also be developed to create a grand “sense of arrival” for the audience before and after performances. The project will also raise the capability and calibre of the auditoriums with improved acoustics, sight lines, staging resources, and rehearsal areas for artists.
The venues are expected to close from mid-2010 for the refurbishment works, and will re-open in 2013. During the project, SSO will continue to stage its performances at the Esplanade Concert Hall and other venues.
This milestone project is part of the third phase of the Renaissance City Plan to develop distinctive arts and cultural content, and transform Singapore into a global city for arts and culture by 2015. The project is guided by a steering committee comprising members who represent artists, technical arts specialists, arts academics and agencies connected with works on monumental buildings. The committee is chaired by NAC Chairman Edmund Cheng. He is assisted by Deputy Chairman Goh Yew Lin, who is the Deputy Chairman of the SSO Board.
Annex 1 – Victoria Theatre-Victoria Concert Hall Refurbishment Project SteeringCommittee
Annex 2 – Profiles of Appointed Firms