The Temasek Shophouse


Award Category: Special Categories

Architecture Firm:

Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd

Project Architect:

Ar Ivy Koh Chin Wern

Year Completed:


Builder Firm:

Sunray Woodcraft Construction Pte Ltd

The Temasek Shophouse is an A&A conserved 1928 building along Orchard Road. Envisioned as a Social Impact Hub, the Client’s request was to incorporate complementary co-working areas with a central multi-purpose venue for exhibitions, workshops, and talks ideal for activities benefiting the common good.

Acknowledging the building's function for public engagement, a high-volume atrium was introduced to create a sense of arrival and visual connection across different levels. The building also required high security for operations, with direct circulation to upper storeys.

Existing structural members were reconfigured to enlarge the open floor while respecting the original building grid. The deliberate re-allocation of floor areas to create the void also supported the need for additional office and garden terraces on the upper floors.

To address building height limitations and setback from the first reserve railway line, symmetry in the layout of the visible staircase and lift structures in alignment with the existing façade was referenced.

Construction progress was from roof to first Storey to ensure structural stability of this old building and to maintain the existing structural grid, allowing efficient interfacing of new beams to existing beams.

After multiple refurbishments, few original materials were left. The restoration focused on retaining whatever existing features remained (such as the timber windows) and improving their performance condition (e.g. acoustics, weather proofing).

In the spirit of conservation, the building's original architectural intention was restored while being relevant to the times. False ceilings were removed, expanding the low headroom, and revealing the rich rhythm of fenestrations – filling the space with daylight.

Biophilic features are brought indoors, integrating greenery (Central Green Wall, gardens at the rear and verandas) and sunlight with the existing shophouse. Beyond introducing greenery, the building adopts a hybrid cooling system and evaporative cooling system.

Jury Citation

The Jury commends the Team’s effort to reinstate the former glory of The Temasek Shophouse, through this conservation project. The enlargement of the central void, a key strategic move, works well for social and spatial connectedness, especially necessary for fulfilling the brief of accommodating the new program of an office within the constraints of the shophouse typology.