International competition Founders’ Memorial


National Memorial
Exhibition Space
Visitor Centre




National Heritage Board, Gardens by the Bay


50,000 sqm


02/2019 – 04/2019


Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, ShopHouse & Co, Provolk Architects, DEG architects

City as memorial, gardens as gallery, surface as place.

“Ideals, not Monuments” – that was the message in the Eulogy and Parliamentary statement made by PM Lee Hsien Loong in 2015 as conversations about the Founders’ Memorial began. He also made the call for Singaporeans to “look around you for those who seek a monument”, and our proposal builds on these ideas.

Our design is a non-monument. It is instead a public space and also the best location on the island to understand the contribution of our Founders’ through its spaces and programmes. By walking through and around it, one appreciates the story of our city through framed views, spatial experiences, materiality, and the natural elements that is integrated with the design.
Our memorial design is also created to galvanise and connect with the city around it. Galleries become the starting point to explore the monument known as the city, and programmes become starting points for conversations beyond the gallery. At the same time, the memorial brings content from the rest of the island into the galleries.

Programmes are opportunities to bring the rest of the country onto the site to turn this into a living memorial for everyone to enjoy as one people; an interpretive experience that narrates the Singapore story through its gardens and galleries; and one that provides the best spaces and views to contemplate the city around us — which is itself the best manifestation of what our Founders stood for and have made. It also physically integrates with the city around it, and uses passive and active programming to draw the rest of the city to it.

Like the multi-racial and multi-faceted team of Founders that established Singapore, our inter-generational and diverse team of practitioners have collaborated to create a proposal that deeply integrates architecture, landscape, and programming into a contemplative yet active place for Singaporeans.

Imbued with subtle symbolism, and abstract interpretations of our founding principles, our Founders’ Memorial focuses on evoking one’s heart-ware of emotions and memories through spaces, materials, and programmes. The hard-ware then functions as the infrastructure for Singaporeans to come together, remember the contributions of our founding fathers, and be inspired to co-create the future of our country.