T.Y. Lin International Announces Completion of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in Singapore


T.Y. Lin International Group (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces the completion of Singapore’s first natural history museum, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM). TYLI’s Singapore office, T.Y. Lin International Pte. Ltd., was responsible for all the Civil & Structural (C&S) and Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) design of the LKCNHM for the project owner, the National University of Singapore (NUS). Located at NUS, the LKCNHM opened to the public on April 28, 2015. The facility accommodates over one million South East Asian specimens, as well as the complete fossils of three Jurassic Period dinosaurs.

“We are hugely honored to have played a part in supporting the continued preservation of Singapore’s natural heritage,” said Teh Hee Seang, Chairman of TYLI’s Singapore operations. “In dealing with valuable specimens, some dating over 100 years, the protection of exhibits was a top priority. The T.Y. Lin International team worked very closely with the National University of Singapore and architects to ensure that the civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical design optimized space utilization and met the stringent operational and end-user needs.”

A seven-story building with a unique, prehistoric boulder-like façade finish and tiered tropical vegetation, the LKCNHM accommodates Singapore’s national and reference collection of preserved zoological specimens, as well as the NUS herbarium. The wet and dry collections occupy three floors, while a specially-designed, two-story central exhibition space caters to the three recently-acquired dinosaurs, which are anticipated to be one of the most popular attractions.

TYLI’s structural design included a one-way post-tensioned slab and reinforced concrete beams to meet the stringent structural fire resistance requirements in the collection zone, as well as three slanted columns and a spiral staircase that preserves the interior gallery views. The team was also responsible for reviewing and assessing the casting of the off-form concrete wall and the construction of the cantilevered exterior green wall.

TYLI’s M&E design was tailored to meet the differing requirements of the research and exhibition areas. The focus of the design in the research area was to provide effective and efficient air conditioning and air exchange to ensure a safe working environment. In the exhibition area, preservation and maintenance of the scientific collections 24 hours a day was a priority. The adoption of high-frequency non-UV emitting lighting and efficient climate control systems was central to achieving this.

An independent academic unit under the Faculty of Science at NUS, the LKCNHM is strategically important to Singapore and the Region from a biodiversity research perspective, with its vast plant and animal collections. In addition, the LKCNHM plays a significant academic and outreach role, as well as providing a public gallery.