Front view of the building. Credit: Arup.; Front view of the building. Credit: Arup.;

Victoria Theatre Concert Hall, Singapore

The sustainable renewal and redevelopment of a national monument

The historically important Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, located in the heart of downtown Singapore, is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and an important centre for performing arts in the city-state. Comprising a memorial hall, theatre and clocktower, parts of the national monument are over 150 years old.

Arup played a key role in the major restoration of the iconic venue by developing the overall brief for the project, and implementing this with the design team through to the successful conclusion. This included upgrading technical systems, enhancing acoustics and improving sightlines. Arup also provided fire and sustainable building design consultancy to the building design team led by W Architects.

In modernising the national monument in line with contemporary functional demands, work centered on the auditoria, backstage spaces, rehearsal areas and audience facilities. Two new subterranean levels were excavated, along with the construction of a new plant room and electrical substation.

Preserving the existing facade and historical structures within the building during such dramatic refurbishment has presented significant design and technical challenges to the project team. The design team retained much of Victoria Concert Hall’s old world charm. The concert hall's upgraded acoustic performance allows performers to talk to audiences without microphones. The ceiling is specially shaped to provide sound reflections into the audience, cleverly hidden behind an elegant woven metallic gold mesh that is acoustically transparent. Another unique feature introduced is the energy-efficient, low-noise displacement air-conditioning system that provides cooled air to individual seats, rather than the entire room.

Using SoundLab, a sound simulation (auralisation) technique unique to Arup, our acousticians helped to bring sound into context, letting stakeholders and designers experience the project during the design process, contributing to a more informed design outcome.

A milestone project part of Singapore's 'Renaissance City' plan to transform the city-state into a global city for arts and culture, the elegant and extensive renewal of this national monument has showcased expert conceptual, technical and engineering finesse.


    Interior view of the building. Credit: Arup. Interior view of the building. Credit: Arup.

    Selected awards

    • President's Design Award 2015 - Design of the Year Winner

    • Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Architectural Design Awards 2015 - Building of the Year Winner

    • The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) The Structural Awards 2015 - Award for Structural Heritage

    • Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) - Architectural Heritage Awards 2015 (Category A)

    • Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award 2013 (Institutional and Industrial Category)