The Portuguese Eurasians
History & Origins
The Church, a Historic Centre
Framing Authen city
Art for Conserva on
Reconnec ng the Compound
Catering to the Community
Reconnec ng - Time & Space
Design Interven on
Abstract Conserva on in Singapore lacks understanding of true cultural and heritage value, o en focusing on form rather than history. A skewed focus on authen city and sustainability results in a loss of connec on to our past, the root of our iden ty. Mul -racialism, as the crux of local iden ty, being an island of gathered immigrants, it is essen al for Singapore to remember her history, and by extension, the heritage of ethnic minori es. Categorised by the state as “others”, it highlights a lack of apprecia on of these complex cultures. Among them are the Portuguese Eurasians, who are easily forgo en in the discourse of race. Recognising and preserving the heritage of the Portuguese Eurasians would be a ﬁrst step in recognising and preserving the heritage of ethnic minori es. A conserva on of their built heritage ﬁnds a balanced approach between cultural preserva on, mee ng the needs to the community, and contemporary relevance
Authenticity Venice Charter 1964 Historical monuments are a testament to long-standing tradi ons. Conserva on and preserva on of monuments are an important part of safeguarding architectural heritage. It is not just a protec on of the built heritage but safeguarding of an art and historical evidence for the future genera ons (WHC, 1964). It is the common responsibility of mankind and should be prac ced on a greater scale. Conserva on of monuments is o en done by implemen ng useful social func ons, with li le to no modiﬁca ons allowed to the layout or decora ons. This is in line with preserving building “authen city”. It is also stated that “valid contribu ons of all periods to the building of a monument must be respected, since unity in style is not the aim of a restora on”. Nara Document on Authen city (1994) “The diversity of cultures and heritage in our world is an irreplaceable source of spiritual and intellectual richness for all humankind.” (WHC, 1994) Authen city in conserva on prac ce aims to illuminate the collec ve memory of humanity. It adds to the richness of cultural and heritage diversity around the world as “cultural diversity demands acknowledgment of the legi macy of the cultural values of all par es.” (WHC, 1994) Each heritage property should be judged within their own cultural context, with modiﬁca ons and recogni on accorded to the speciﬁc nature of heritage values and the credibility and truthfulness of related informa on sources. Public awareness and educa on are also fundamental to safeguarding memories of the past. There is a need to develop greater understanding of the values as represented by the built heritage, but it is also important to consider the place of such monuments in contemporary society.
Policy for the Integra on of a Sustainable Development Perspec ve into the Processes of the World Heritage Conven on Sustainable development is governed by three main factors: Social, Economic and Environmental, none more important than the other (WHC, 2015). Inclusive Social Development Full inclusion, respect and equity of all stakeholders of the conserva on site are fundamental to allowing an inclusive social development (WHC, 2015). It should improve quality of life in and around the site, thereby encouraging a shared responsibility in conserva on eﬀorts. Inclusive governance is vital to inclusive social development: It should recognise cultural diversity, inclusion and equity, respec ng values of the locals, by ‘[giving] and natural heritage a func on in the life of the community’ (WHC, 2015). Inclusive Economic Development An inclusive economic development should translate to an inclusive, equitable and sustainable local economic development that enhances livelihood, generate income and provide employment for locals (WHC, 2015). Publicprivate partnerships are ideal in maximising beneﬁts to all stakeholders involved, aiding the growth of local cultural and crea ve industries while safeguarding the intangible heritage. For future sustainable economic beneﬁts, there is a need to develop educa onal and capacity building programmes focusing on innova on and local entrepreneurship targeted at the local community. Environmental Sustainability ‘Integrate considera on for biological and cultural diversity as well as ecosystem services and beneﬁts’ (WHC, 2015) in the conserva on of built heritage, reducing and avoiding nega ve impacts on the environment.
Sustainability Conserva on for the Future Conserva on of heritage in modern-day Singapore is built on the no on of na onal iden ty (NHB, 2018). Most buildings fall into either of two categories: Na onal Monuments or Conserved Buildings. The former is preserved and protected under the Preserva on of Monuments Act (2009) while URA manages the la er. Careful restora on, maintenance and repairs are expected in the con nued use of these buildings, respec ng the original materials and construc on methods (URA, 2020). In the search for a balance between pragma sm and historical value, adap ve reuse has become a common solu on to reconcile memories and future needs (NHB, 2018). It is evident that authen city of built form and sustainability of the conserva on project are key considera ons in the local context. However, current methods only serve to conserve the façade and form, without paying true homage to the intrinsic value and origins of the heritage buildings. It is essen al to understand that authen city goes beyond structure; site inten ons and social func ons also shape its history – it is ed to the building’s cultural signiﬁcance and overall value. This helps paint a complete picture of our cultural heritage, cas ng light to an undistorted history. New func ons should add-value to the exis ng site, providing insights and oﬀering new ideals. It is important for the past to be remembered accurately; a new system of conserva on needs to be devised, one that references history closely for a greater connec on to our heritage while ﬁnding a place in contemporary Singapore. How can conserva on and future developments ﬁnd a middle ground? Especially where economic progress is a key marker of success, how conserved buildings ﬁnd a balance between social well-being and lucra ve commerce? Understanding the site is of utmost importance, a thorough research on the past and present should be conducted. Key points in history should be highlighted as deﬁning traits of the site heritage, which should go into shaping future site interven ons.
The Portuguese Eurasians
Conserving the Heritage of Ethnic Minorities in Singapore “And Others” Singapore is a prosperous island city-state, well known for its mul -racial, mul -lingual, and mul -religious society. A deﬁning characteris c of the country, mul -racialism is even enshrined in the cons tu on. However, the complexi es of ethnic diversity have been conﬂated into four main groups — the Chinese, Malay, Indian and “others” (Department of Sta s cs Singapore, 2019). A poor representa on of ethnic minori es has le them largely forgo en in the general discourse of race in cosmopolitan Singapore. It oversimpliﬁes the underlying intricacies within this mosaic of cultures. This overgeneralisa on neglects the fact that the diﬀerent races were and s ll are integral parts of the society; each community has contributed to Singapore’s early growth and con nuous development in various ways, building the country that we know today.
Racial Diversity, the Root of Iden ty Racial diversity can be traced back to Singapore’s roots as a trading port. One of the earliest accounts of Singapore dates back to the 14th century when Chinese traveller Wang Dayuan describes a popula on of the Ban Zu located around Fort Canning Hill where “[t]he Chinese live with local men and women”, trading “casques of hornbill, co on and laka wood” (Miksic, 2013). It also “served as a mee ng place for Arabs, Chinese, Malays, traders from the Indonesian islands and elsewhere in Southeast Asia” (Murfe , 2011). This paints a picture of a heterogeneous port se lement, with foreign merchants living among na ves. The conglomera on of ethnici es con nued into the early 19th century, where Singapore, as a Bri sh colony, was grew to include various racial and religious communi es. In the centre of Singapore’s early commercial growth near Fort Canning s ll sits evidence of this diversity in proximity — religious buildings serving diﬀerent communi es and old street names that hint at the old enclaves (Savage & Yeoh, 2013). Portuguese Eurasians in Singapore Among these is the compound of the Portuguese Mission that has its origin in the early 19th century. It was set up to serve the ﬁrst members of the Eurasian catholic community in Singapore and con nues to be an important heritage site to the Portuguese Eurasians. The compound consisted of St Anthony’s Convent, St Joseph’s Church, the Parochial House, and St Anthony’s Boys’ School. The buildings have been conserved and remains part of the exis ng urban fabric of modern-day Singapore. Although the physical structure is unchanged, its history has come to be heavily disconnected from the site, its heritage and legacy forgo en by many. Hence, conserva on of the buildings’ history and narra ve is essen al in retaining its relevance and value in contemporary mes.
Built Heritage of Portuguese Eurasians QUEEN STREET
2 1 VICTORIA STREET
1 Parochial House
2 Former St Anthony’s Boys’ School
3 St Joseph’s Church
4 Former St Anthony’s Convent Presently Na onal Design Centre
History & Origins
Understanding Cultural Context Authen city varies across culture and history. It is important to look into the past to examine values a ached to the no on of authen city for the Portuguese Eurasians. During colonial mes, the Portuguese exerted control in Malacca through so power, using several means of control:
01 Through mixed marriage, wherein a new culture with new prac ces was formed, shaped mainly by way of religion and language.
02 Religion- At that me, the power of the Portuguese was represented
by the church and Chris anity was a big part of the Eurasian iden ty. This also relates back to the church and other ecclesias cal buildings that provide food, shelter and aid for the needy.
03 The Portuguese also sought to assimilate through language, by approaching the indigenous people in their own tongue.
The Church, a Historic Centre Life revolves around the Church: Bap sm (as infants) First Holy Communion (as a child 8-9) Conﬁrma on (in adolescence 15-16) Marriage – Weddings at the church Death – Funerals in church
Liturgical Celebra ons and the Community: An important part of St Joseph’s community, connec ng devotees to the church and its past as a part of the Portuguese Mission.
. “the spirit of the Portuguese Mission will be kept alive through devo ons to Our Lady of Fa mah, the Sacred Heart, St. Anthony of Lisbon, St. Jude etc with monthly processions of Our Lady, the Holy Week Processions, etc, which have been cherished by their forefathers.” - Fr. Bata
The centre of Portuguese Eurasian iden ty in Singapore Three key layers: A connec on to history, the recent past and the present. Global Community Individual
Portuguese colonies in the East Missions étrangères de Paris (MEP)
Capture of Malacca (1511) Spread of Chris anity to SEA First record of Portuguese Eurasians
Eurasian community and its descendants spread to neighbouring lands, including Singapore.
Founding of the Portuguese Mission in 1825 Catholics operated under Portuguese Jurisdic on MEP mission of Siam given Jurisdic on in 1827, later rejected by the Catholics in Singapore Diocese of Macau retained jurisdic on over Singapore
Conserving Identity & Intentions Iden ty and inten ons are two important aspects that keep the spirit of the Portuguese Eurasian community alive. It includes Chris anity, educa on, as well as charity and welfare eﬀorts in the community.
Chris anity has tradi onally been an important aspect of a Eurasian individual’s iden ty
Tradi ons, like religious prac ces with Portuguese roots and folk dances (eg Branyo)
Schools established to serve underprivileged children and charity that provided for the needy un l cessa on in 1999
Kristang, a Portuguese creole language Renewed interest in 1990s, revitalised in 2018
The built heritage plays a signiﬁcant role in the con nued remembrance of the Portuguese Eurasian heritage. St Joseph’s Church is a signiﬁcant heritage site to the Portuguese Eurasians in Singapore, both as a religious building and an important aspect of their culture. However it does not hold the same value in the eyes of the public. Buildings once part of the larger compound of the Portuguese Mission, namely the former St Anthony’s Boys’ School and St Anthony’s Convent, have become state property leased out for commercial use. This leaves the layered, nuanced history of the buildings forgo en, neglec ng their origins and past connec on to the Portuguese Mission. The Parochial House, located next to the church, has served the community in various ways. Aside from its oﬃcial func ons as the headquarters of the Portuguese Mission in the past, it also contained the Parish Library and Canteen, located on the ﬁrst ﬂoor. It served members of the public as well as devotees, hos ng social events as the centre of communal ac vi es. To this day, it holds many memories of past users. Aspects of Portuguese Eurasian iden ty are tricky to recognise due to the hybridity and complexity of the Eurasian iden ty. Eurasians do not have dis nc ve prac ces as some other races do (such as Taoism or Buddhism being strongly associated with the Chinese). They lack ‘core ethnicity’, a strong a achment to a unique cultural prac ce, and instead hold on ‘symbolic ethnicity’, cultural prac ce for leisure or consump on. This is represented by the recent revitaliza on of Kristang that has been adopted as the language of Eurasians despite being a Portuguese creole language. There has been successful eﬀorts to revitalize the language in Singapore from 2018 and this can also be incorporated into new plans. Another tradi on is the Branyo dance, typically performed during weddings and fes ve occasions. It is s ll championed by the Eurasian Associa on which aims to increase awareness of the dance among the public.
Framing Sustainability Conservation in context
The sustainable conserva on of the compound relates back to the authen c values of the site: the place iden ty, iden ty and original inten ons. 1. Place Iden ty important in ensuring future sustainability. While keeping in line with the compound’s value, the spaces should also evolve to meet current needs: Historical site – The church, its compound, retaining its iden ty and inten ons The larger site – BrasBasahBugis Art District 2. Iden ty as a place of religious signiﬁcance, with Portuguese roots, should remain untouched 3. Early inten ons as a place for educa on for the underprivileged should be expanded on. It should also con nue as a communal space, part of its history and a natural part of present-day developments (in rela on to site)
Building context – Architectural features as part of iden ty
Site context- Designated Art District
One aspect of the built heritage and its con nued relevance that can be applied to the new interven ons would be the architectural features unique to the buildings of the compound. For example, the arches of the parochial house that reﬂect the Portuguese Baroque architectural style, the encaus c ﬂoor les that carry religious symbolism of Divine inﬁnitude. Ornamenta ons have also been uncovered around st joseph’s church, with heavy depic on of ﬂoral and foliage which a reﬂec on of the kingdom of God and the eternal Garden of Eden. The stylised lily is also heavily featured, a mo f commonly depicted with st joseph’s. These features can inform the poten al design of new interven ons For con nued sustainability, there needs to be considera on for the wider site context, mainly in terms of programmes. This relates back to the site as an art district. On the whole, the iden ty and inten ons should be highlighted in its future and should be factors informing the development of the site. These points are important as they represent the past value of the site and its rela on of the Portuguese Eurasian community, their history, origins and contribu ons. They are also signiﬁcant in the present and con nued value of the site, both as part of Singapore’s na onal iden ty as a cosmopolitan state, and the preserva on of the Portuguese Eurasian heritage.
The compound is located in the designated art district of Singapore: The Bras Basah. Bugis Art Precinct, “…home to the greatest concentra on of museums, historic monuments, heritage buildings, places of worship, arts groups, arts schools, and lifestyle malls in the city centre”. The clustering of art spaces and ins tu ons allow for collabora ve events such as the Singapore Biennale.
The Designated Art District
The district contains a series of carefully curated art belts that aims to enliven the neighbourhood, more public art spaces, new staging grounds for events and student-designed street furniture to encourage socialising in open area. These enhancements create a more pleasant walking experience, in line with the authority’s plans for a vibrant arts and cultural district.
Site Analysis This site analysis is an adapta on of Kevin Lynch’s “The Image of the City” (1960). It inves gates the imageability and legibility of the city, striving to understand the public image of the city. A series of verbal interviews was done about the site of interest and sketch maps were produced with reference to the given answers. The sketch maps drawn were partly based on Lynch’s ﬁve main elements of the city, deﬁned as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Paths- channels along which people move or travel Edges- boundaries that breaks con nuity of space Districts- areas of the city dis nguished from the others by recognisable traits Nodes- strategic points or concentra ons cores of people in a place or along a journey Landmarks- A physical object and point of reference that is easily iden ﬁable
The analysis focuses on the site accessibility, recognisability, and visibility in rela on to its surroundings.
accessibility and ﬂow
01 02 -
Traﬃc ﬂow is concentrated along common des na on points and transport nodes. Poor visibility and a lack of familiarity with any given area makes for decreased accessibility as people prefer not to venture into foreign territory.
03 04 05 -
MRT Sta ons
Key Des na ons: visitor volume
07 08 -
Special Events: visitor increament
district and recognisability
Areas with dis nc ve characteris cs (districts) have deﬁning features that stand out to the users. While some can be familiar and invi ng, others are less so because of the incongruous architecture. Each district contains orienta on landmarks that are used in wayﬁnding but are not always recognisable in form. Landmarks that stand out to the public are highly dependent on visual salience rather than the uniqueness of form.
most recognisable DISTRICT least recognisable ORIENTATION LANDMARK SITE BOUNDARY
cultural signiﬁcance and recognisability
Compara vely, people are more cognizant of recognisable buildings- aside from familiarity, the public can be er put a name to these forms. It was noted that buildings of cultural signiﬁcance are not necessarily recognisable despite their form. Recognisability is highly dependent on building func ons and how it caters to the public’s needs. Places that a ract a wider range of audience are likely more familiar than those with a targeted community for use.
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS MUSEUMS/ GALLERIES RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS TEMPORARY EVENT SPACES RECOGNISABILITY SITE BOUNDARY
visibility and accessibility
Bras Basah MRT 1
Bugis MRT 3 NLB
Public Car Parks
MRT Sta ons
Main Traﬃc Flow
St Joseph’s Church and the buildings within its former compound do not have a high degree of recognisability. Though they are dis nc ve compared to the surrounding buildings, they are dwarfed by more imposing landmarks nearby, such as Na onal Library and Bugis+, that have more eye-catching forms to the public. The physical structures lack visual salience in the modern cityscape and therefore lose recognisability in the urban se ng. Other heritage buildings in the area that hold a higher degree of recognisability are common des na ons for the public. Places such as the Na onal Museum of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum serve as orien ng landmarks in wayﬁnding for many people. In contrast, St Joseph’s Church serves a targeted community (Portuguese Eurasians and the Catholic community), which diminishes its familiarity with the public. The former St Anthony’s Convent and St Anthony’s Boys’ School are also visually incongruent with the church and Parochial House despite being part of the compound. They are visually disconnected from each other as well as the surrounding area. A further analysis of the main site of interest, namely the former St Anthony’s Boys’ School and the Parochial House, showed poor visibility into the site from almost every angle. Without clearly observable traits, the building itself cannot be ingrained into the mind of the public, much less its historical signiﬁcance. New site func ons should consider accessibility and visibility as key factors for drawing in users. By improving site awareness, history and heritage of the buildings can be transmi ed on a larger scale. At the same me, a rac ng new users can revitalise the area with modern func ons, making it more relevant to the current context while conserving the past. However, conserva on should not be limited to the built form; new programmes should reﬂect elements of its history through adapta on without erasure.
2. View from along Hotel Grand Paciﬁc (le of site)
1. Backlane access
3. View from Na onal Library across the road
Key Issues Disconnected from surrounding area Poor visibility into site, which also leads to poor recognisability Visually incongruent buildings, do not look like part of the church compound Lack of visual salience due to size 4. Towards site from Bugis MRT
Art for Conservation
New Functions for a New Age In line with plans for the designated art district, an educa onal art space can aid the site’s sustainability. Art for educa on references the site history as a school; it could introduce public programmes to rejuvenate its communal past. Aside from it’s original community, the Portuguese Eurasians, and the new art community, the surrounding community should be considered in the making of the new space as well. It is important to consider the needs of nearby residents to ensure that the space can become a useful and relevant site that meets current needs. Mixed used spaces can help in a rac ng users beyond the targeted crowd, anchoring the site to its locality. The space should ﬁnd a comfortable balance between new and old users, the past and present. As an art space, it needs to consider more than just art – it should be a means of revitalising the site, connec ng with the surroundings, the neighbourhood and as an invi ng space for all. It is more than just art’s for art’s sake and art for the art district to ensure future viability
for viability & authenticity
Mixed-use Spaces Generates revenue, more viable in the long run More inclusive and draws in more people
Respect Needs of the Community Ar sts are not the only users of the space Local residents give the space an anchor in the community
Respect the Site and its History History of site to be preserved and remembered as important part of local heritage Integrate with new ac vi es and spaces
creating a successful art space
Revitalisa on - Local Tourism & Consump on revitalises neighbourhood, improves quality of life
Revitalisa on - Community Outreach through educa on programmes, neighbourhood improvement, occupa onal development
Arts Incubator providing low-cost technical and professional assistance, space for exhibi on
Community Centre a venue for social interac on, informa on exchange, and mentoring
Budafabriek Art Centre As part of Buda Island’s endeavor as the City of Design, Budafabriek is among the few art centres in the area oﬀering a space for ar sts. It contains facili es such as studios, theatre halls, exhibi on spaces and workshops. Budafabriek Art Centre is a former tex le factory, converted to accommodate studio and exhibi on spaces for ar sts-inresidence. It is a space for produc on, exhibi on and casual interac on. site
related facili es
pale-brick entrance pavilion that marks the entrance, does not touch the surrounding buildings at any point.
Hollowed out central atrium connec ng all three ﬂoors
without dayligh ng with dayligh ng
Inser on of clerestory glazing and a large skylight. Contains a lab for manufacturing, mul func onal spaces of varying sizes and ligh ng condi ons, music venues and a roof terrace
Sunny Bank Mills Once an old tex le mill, now a crea ve space for art, culture and business. It was redeveloped in 2010 to create employment and leisure opportuni es, as well as to retain and enhance historic peripheral buildings. SBM oﬀers business spaces for small and large organisa ons, ranging from cafes, art gallery to hairdressers and beau cians Remembering the past and readap ng for future-use: SBM Gallery- A centre for the arts programmes (exhibi ons, workshops, studio space) SBM Archive: Protects and promotes history of the mill
Redeveloped as part of the Leeds Masterplan
Studios and shops - variety of spaces catered to diﬀerent needs
Archive of the mill contains records of its history and heritage, including but not limited to: photographs, weaving looms, and fabric records of tex le cu ngs
Stakeholders and Sustainability The main stakeholders of a readapted space will inﬂuence its longevity. In rela on to art spaces, it can be categorised into three main groups: the community, agent of space and the relevant authori es. Respec vely, it includes the residents, students and oﬃce workers in the neighbourhood, the Rice Company, a not-for-proﬁt arts organisa on targeted at children and youths, as well as the Na onal Arts Council (NDC), Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY) and Urban Redevelopment Authori es (URA), among others. They serve to provide con nued social and economic support which are necessary for future sustainable development in conserva on. New func ons should cater to diﬀerent demographics and audiences. It should not just be an art space for ar sts and collec ves, but a place for the community and the church as well. This variety aids sustainability of the space by anchoring it to the neighbourhood, making it a key aspect of communal ac vi es. Communica on and collabora on with the public and authori es are also vital in ensuring long-term success; A careful considera on for the stakeholders is important in mee ng their needs to ensure viability of the project.
NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL (NAC) MINISTRY OF CULTURE, COMMUNITY & YOUTH (MCCY) URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (URA)
Catering to the Community
art community elderly students oﬃce workers churchgoers mixed- audience
possible alloca on of me and programmes
possible alloca on of space
Reconnecting the Compound Reconciling the Past and Present
Over the years of development, the site buildings have become increasingly divorced from the past and each other despite the proximity. Aside from St Joseph’s Church which con nues some prac ces of the Portuguese mission, new programmes introduced to the site bear li le reference to the past and overlooks the heritage of the Portuguese Eurasians. The old compound of the Portuguese Mission should be reconnected to remember its history and heritage, collabora ve programmes and ac vi es can help create an inter-dependent system that revitalises the site. Any new modiﬁca ons should look dis nct from the original structure; it should serve to a ract users while adding value to the space, whether in form, memory, or func on.
former st anthony’s boys’ school & the parochial house
st joseph’s church
former st anthony’s convent
A divided compound. Shared history is not evident. Current func ons do not reﬂect history as well.
extension of the church
reconnec ng spaces through programmes and ac vi es art ‘’cluster’’ as part of site
Readapt space for new use Integra ng current and new func ons for con nued relevance and to respect history of site
A Cultural Centre
PresentHeritage Today Surface Level - Built Heritage Evidence of the Past
Subterranean Level 1Rediscovering Roots and Iden ty
Subterranean Level 2 Development for Sustainability Building for current and future needs
Reconneting - Time & Space Cra ing the Journey PAST Horizontal Expansion
Religious buildings, each serving diﬀerent communi es While more prominent buildings remain, others have been replaced over the years
PRESENT AND FUTURE Ver cal Expansion
1986 Changing cityscape over the years
PAST - PRESENT - FUTURE Horizontal and Ver cal Expansion
Ver cal expansion to focus maintaining relevance for present and future while horizontal expansion a empts to reconcile the past with the present Forgo en Heritage Historical Artefacts
Living MemoriesRoots and Iden ty
Reviving Prac ce Sustaining the Future
Space & Symbolism
The church as a symbol of GodEternal, meless and placeless Tiles- Divine Inﬁnitude
High ceiling of a gothic church, represen ng the sky The boundary between the god’s world and the human realm
Stained glass windowA sense of the mys cal Light as divine
Space & Symbolism
The Present - Built Heritage Today Evidence of the past and what is no longer
Cultural Necropolis - Reconnec ng with origins of the church Founding of Portuguese Mission in Singapore, the Padroado-Propaganda Divide, conﬂict over juristdic on and the eventual end of the church’s associa on with the Portuguese Mission
Spirit of the Portuguese Mission Liturgical celebra ons rooted in Portuguese history that have come to be important to the local community
Returning to Roots The Portuguese Eurasian iden ty, as centred around the Church
Light as a key design element; space and ambience that revolve around the play of light and shadow.
Design Intervention Concept Diagram
Main interven on in empty plot next to compound
Setbacks in line with regula ons Church interven on following exis ng form
Angling entrance, direc ng a en on to exis ng buildings. Reducing size of interven on next to church for minimal impact to exis ng form.
Crea ng new access through the Former St Anthony’s Boys’ School and retaining circula on outside church grounds.
New Readapted Cra ing key views
Cra ing Views
Drawing a en on to the site, serving almost as a backdrop to exis ng buildings.
Procession Routes Shrine (exis ng) Underground Access Connec ve TissueTransi on between old & new Key Views
The new interven on should not impede important liturgical celebra ons that take place within the church. Aside from the church, some structures key to the exis ng prac ces are the funeral parlour and shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fa ma. The design works around these structures and procession within the church grounds, adding new func ons without disrup ng current prac ces. New interven ons should not only enhance present func ons but also views, drawing a en on to the built heritage amongst the towering cityscape.
Viewing Platform Looking down to whole of compound
Central lightwell Steel deck built around a central opening in the readapted St Anthony’s Boys’ School for minimal changes to exterior buidling facade.
3rd - 15th Storey Plan
3rd & 4th Storey Plan
2nd Storey Plan
1st Storey Plan
The Church, The Centre In Gothic architecture, the church is a representa on of God, as is the sky. The spire invites the faithful to look heavenward. By situa ng the chapel in front of the church, it gives a glimpse of the church and sky, yet never in its en rety. It serves as a replacement of the altar and hint of God’s presence.
The Three States The Church, the Mys cal Body of Christ has three states: suﬀering, militant and triumphant. The Church exists on this earth and is called the church militant. Church suﬀering means the souls in Purgatory. The Church triumphant is the Church in heaven. Following this imagery, the columbarium would represent suﬀering, a place of reﬂec on and cleansing in face of death.
Beyond the Church St Joseph’s Church, the heart of the compound in history, con nues to be so in present albeit in a diﬀerent way. It extends beyond serving the church community to the general public, with new programmes that welcomes visitors and ac vity. Introducing a columbarium is a means of reconnec ng people with their roots and iden ty, drawing them back to the church grounds, not just in remembrance of its history but their own as well. Beyond that, the readapted St Anthony’s Boys’ School and new art block serve as both a transi on and gateway to future development. In line with the plans for the Bras Basah.Bugis Art District as well as its history as an educa onal ins tu on, it oﬀers a space for arts educa on. Therein also contains the heritage gallery for Portuguese Eurasians, reﬂec ng the history of the compound and serving as a reminder of Singapore’s mul -ethnic roots.
Entrance of Church
Entrance to Art Block
Facade Section Detail scale 1:500
Former St Anthony’s Boys’ SchoolReadapted Interior
Underground Heritage Gallery
Special thanks to Professor Johannes Widodo for his advice and guidance Fr Joe Lopez Carpio and Professor James Boss for their wealth of knowledge and generous assistance over the semesters