Built in the year 2011 by Architect Moshe Sadie and team, The Art Science Museum situated along the Marina Bay waterfront is part of a beautiful cityscape that the island shares with the Marina Bay Sands hotel also designed by Safdie Architects. A step towards a better panorama and sustainable building, Moshe Safdie created the form earlier to let Singaporeans have a broader vision of how the building will look upon its completion. Nevertheless, the museum turned out to be an elegant form inspired by the geometry of the flower, the Lotus which was an afterthought i.e. the concept came after form justifying “form follows function”.

Marina Bay Art Science Museum was built to define the connection that art and science have in between. Even though it seemed like a difficult task, the team and the curators were successful in achieving the possibility by integrating science, technology, and art through interactive galleries for all age groups. Interactive galleries that bind the scientific and digital technology cater to about 3500 visitors with an area spanning 6000 m2 of the three galleries inside the museum.

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Sketch of Art Science Museum; Initial stages _©Safdie Architects

Composition 

The Art Science Museum hovers above a beautiful Lily Pond and the structure opens an entry to 21 galleries which are well lit and ventilated.  3 galleries one of which hovers and the other residing on the ground surrounded by Lily Garden. With extraordinary curators and artists, the upper galleries open to 10 double-height, vertical spaces, and horizontal rooms. 

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Façade of Art Science Museum _©Safdie Architects

The access to galleries is through these halls with daylight entering and lighting up the galleries from either the skylight that each gallery has or through the central atrium that each gallery shares with others. These skylights are positioned on the petals of the Art Science Museum to capture as much as daylight possible, the most important reason for their absolute functioning is because of the material these petals are made of, which is fibreglass polymer that allows sunlight to enter these galleries and transform them into black boxes.

The skylights were installed to justify the concept of black boxes in the structure. Honor Harger, Executive Director of the Art Science Museum defines a gallery as a blackboard and the chalk and duster as the artist, and curator. The skylight plays an important role as it functions the same as a spotlight anchoring visitors in the direction of artwork. 

Façade

The Art Science Museum stands along with Marina Bay skyline with one of its salient features: façades which discovered its way through the skyline after a distinctive series of form evolution. When architect Moshe Safdie disclosed the initial façade, many disapproved as it looked similar to a banana, with more sketches of form, and the final form was adopted through a biomimicry approach. Though the concept behind the Art Science Museum which is of a lotus was an afterthought, the fascinating fact about its concept is it fits just right, it suffices the purpose and adds an essence to Singapore’s skyline which justifies the detailed epistemology behind the museum.

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Singapore’s skyline _©Matt Conaghan / Flickr

The floating museum hovers at a height of 60m and is supported by 10 steel columns. The structure’s geometry is interpreted to be that of a flower lotus. Like a lotus floats in its natural habitat a pond, similar to this interpretation the structure seemingly floats on the surface surrounded by Lily Pond. Buckminster Fuller‘s geodesic dome inspired architect Moshe Safdie through thorough study and work experience with him, he designed the whole structure. Interpreting it as a bubble floating but held to the ground with the help of sticks which stands as a pun for the 10 columns that hold the structure. Structure definition comes through its joinery and is spectacular with the detailed joinery it upholds. The joinery is elucidated by a Fiber-Reinforced polymer and its use has made the success of petal-shaped façade for galleries.

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The Geometry of Art Science Museum _©Safdie Architects

The oculus has a dish-shaped roof that drains all the rainwater through the atrium of the museum. The rainwater creates a picturesque view connecting art and nature in a scenic view. This central atrium also provides daylight to all the galleries and corridors surrounding the atrium. Access to these 3 large galleries is through large elevators and escalators which cater the visitors to a world that breathes where art and science coexist.

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Dish shape roofed oculus _©Safdie Architects

The Art Science Museum hovers around a circular base around 10 lattice petal-shaped structures leading to 10 galleries which are well-lit through skylights and the central atrium. With the fusion of geometry and science, the museum profusely justifies the purpose which is the connection that art and science have together, the symbiotic relation both domains share. Nonetheless, the museum floats on the island among prominent structures of Marina Bay resort which is also designed by architect Moshe Safdie

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Art Science Museum, Singapore _©Safdie Architects

 

 

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