My unplanned visit to Singapore City Gallery happened by chance, mainly due to the heavy rain that started at 4pm and did not allow me to further explore Chinatown. And boy, was I glad to visit this beautifully enriching place.
Opened in 1999, the Singapore City Gallery is a hidden gem that tells the story of a city in continuous physical transformation. The gallery documents the city nation’s planning challenges and efforts that have transformed Singapore from a backwater village to a first-world metropolis in just 50 years, as well as showcasing Singapore from present to future planning through over ten thematic areas, audiovisual and interactive exhibits spanning three floors! One of the best urban planning museums I have ever visited.
Singapore accommodates 6 millions people in a quite small place and has a fantastic and original history to how it has achieved to become the remarkable city with its featured skyscrapers and other iconic emerging structures.
It is amazing that you can see the whole city on one look without traveling at all! The scale models are painstakingly accurate and the interactive displays give a good account of the history of the town. One of the best model is located at the first floor and it is called Central Area, which is also one of the oldest exhibits in the gallery. This is one of the world’s largest architectural models, it shows intricate details of all buildings and comes alive with an hourly three-minute light and sound show. The model also gives a bird’s eye view of the city centre, showing all current buildings and those planned for construction, including the massive development of the Marina South project. Click here for an online virtual tour to explore the Central Area Model up-close: http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/citygallery/About/architectural-models/central-area-model.aspx
On the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) building ground floor you can find the Islandwide model, which as its name implies represent almost the whole of Singapore, showcasing almost every building on the island.
The gallery has various interactive and experiential exhibits that give visitors a wealth of innovatively presented information, like a panoramic show that depicts daily life on the island, information about land reclamation and about conservation efforts, as well as a taste of city planning and insights into the country’s conservation efforts and heritage gems.
Whether you have an interest in architecture and urban design, or you just have a couple of hours to spare, you will not regret a visit to Singapore City Gallery. It is for free, it is air condition, and there is a restaurant and coffee shop on the gorund floor if you get hungry all of a sudden. Take my word for it, and join the over 200,000 visitors a year.You won’t regret it.
Singapore City Gallery
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9.00am to 5.00pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Location: Inside the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) centre, very near to Maxwell Market and close enough to Chinatown.
Bus Stop A – 61, 166, 197
Bus Stop B – 80, 145
Bus Stop C – 57, 131, 167, 186, 700, 970, 970E
Train: Stations Tanjong Pagar (EW15) or Chinatown (NE4/DT19)
Bicycle: 10 bicycle parking lots are available at the URA Centre
Address: 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre, Singapore 069118
Tel: (65) 63218321