T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces the completion of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall restoration project in Singapore, an event marked by an invitation-only concert presented by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra on July 15, 2014. TYLI’s Singapore office was responsible for all Civil & Structural (C&S) and Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) design services for the project for the project owner, the National Arts Council (NAC). Dr. Tan Guan, TYLI Singapore’s Director of Building Structures, and Thomas Ting, Principal, were appointed as the Qualified Persons (QP) for C&S and M&E services, respectively. They worked with the engineering team in the planning of all restoration work, which was done in stages to minimize impacts to the preservation and sustainability of the highly-valued heritage building and arts space.
“TYLI is extremely honored to have played a part in preserving Singapore’s historic structures,” said Teh Hee Seang, Chairman of TYLI’s Singapore operations. “Our team actively sought to overcome complex engineering challenges associated with this prestigious restoration project, while minimizing impacts on the important facility itself.”
The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is located in the civic district of Singapore and spans over 150,965 square feet. The entire complex was recognized as a National Monument in 1992. Both buildings were closed for major refurbishment in 2010. TYLI, working in conjunction with NAC, developed a comprehensive preservation plan to overcome technical challenges associated with protecting the aesthetic features of the heritage structure and upgrading it to present-day standards.
Restoration of the complex included the excavation and construction of two basement levels within the conserved theatre façade walls, which had been constructed on shallow brick pedestals. One of the key structural challenges included underpinning part of the theatre façade wall to enable the underground structures to extend under the neighboring Old Parliament Lane and Atrium area. The old foundations of the conserved structures were reinforced in order to transform both spaces into modern facilities that house world-class performances.
To provide a column-free foyer space, four pairs of columns within the Concert Hall, which had been added during a previous renovation, were removed and two pairs of steel columns were constructed and concealed in the conserved load-bearing walls. The additional loads of the new spiral staircase and platform located just above the foyer, as well as the circular seating structure, are suspended from steel trusses by the hangers.
TYLI’s M&E team demonstrated creativity, flexibility, and innovation in developing the design, with the objective of accommodating the acoustic demands of different noise criteria for the theatre and concert hall. Bringing the heritage structure to code with present-day standards also required the introduction of modern fire protection, smoke extraction, and air-conditioning systems. By focusing heavily on the highest standards of quality, TYLI successfully introduced modern technology and equipment into the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, despite tight space constraints.
“The completion of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall restoration project marks a major milestone for this historic complex as it again opens its doors to Singapore and the world,” said Mr. Teh. “This state-of-the-art facility now begins a new era as a premier cultural home for the performing arts.”
About the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
Designed by municipal engineer John Bennett during the era of Victorian Revivalism, Singapore’s Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is a complex of two buildings and a clock tower. The influence of the period is reflected in its design, which includes features like Italianate windows and rusticated columns. One of the finest examples of colonial architecture, the foundation of the complex was first laid down in 1862. The facility was officially inaugurated by the Governor of the Straits Settlements, John Anderson, on October 18, 1905. Since its inception, Victoria Theatre has been the chosen venue for some of Singapore’s most prestigious cultural events, such as the Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore Sun Festival, and weekly performances by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
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