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Talk: The making of the Singapore Conference Hall & Trade Union House- a talk by Datuk Seri Lim Chong Keat
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venue: Lee Foundation Theatre, NAFA Campus 3, 151 Bencoolen Street
date | time: Saturday, 23 Apr 2011 | 2.00-4.00 pm
registration 1.30 pm
admission: Free and open to the public
enquiries: (Wendy)


This year, the Singapore Conference Hall & Trade Union House were gazetted as a National Monuments. With the demolition of the National Library, National Theatre and National Stadium, this iconic building is the last of  Singapore’s ‘nation-building’ buildings. The idea to construct the hall was first mooted in 1960 and the subsequent design competition was won by the Malayan Architects Co-Partnership, comprising Lim Chong Keat, ChenVoon Fee and William Lim. Built at a cost of $4 million, and completed in 1965, the building is considered one of the finest examples of international style architecture in Singapore.


Lim Chong Keat will present a talk about the concepts and the total design and building process and that led to the realisation of the building – and also the historical circumstances for architecture at that time. Lim, who was princpal of the firm at the time, was also the key designer and architect-in-charge of the project. He will discuss aspects of the total design including the site planning, the structure, climate considerations and detailing, and will also mention his special interest in the acoustics of the hall, and its use not only for conferences but also for concert performances.”


Lim Chong Keat was born to a distinguished family in Penang in 1930. He initially trained as an architect, graduating from the University of Manchester with a BA Hons in Architecture and then a Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he specialised in Architectural Acoustics under Prof Robert Newman (Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Cambridge Mass.). Under the group practice of Malayan Architects Co-partnership, succeeded by Architects Team 3/Jurubena Bertiga, he and his partners were responsible for several concert halls, notably the Singapore Conference Hall, Jurong Town Hall, DBS Auditorium, Penang Komtar auditoria & Geodesic Dome (Dewan Tunku), and the Shah Alam Town Council Auditorium.


Lim was the Founder Chairman of ARCASIA, and also Chairman of the CAA Board of Architectural Education. He received the BBM in Singapore, and was awarded the PAM Gold Medal in 1997. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, and Quatercentenary Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College Cambridge. He now researches on Botanical species and conservation, and publishes the journal Folia Malaysiana, and resides in Penang.

Read Lim Chong Keat Talk 23042011

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