The re-location of St Josephs’s institution, from its historical premises in Bras Basah Road to a new campus at Malcolm Road in the late 1980s, paved the way for the conversion of this Roman Catholic boy’s school into the Singapore Art Museum for the National Heritage Board. The earliest of these school buildings was built on the site of the first Roman Catholic Church in Singapore. This was the central potion, with a distinctive dome designed by Brother Lothaire in 1865.
The challenge CPG faced was the adaptation of natural-ventilated classrooms into environment -controlled, state of-the-art gallery space. The sensitive use of unframed clear glass panels to contain air-conditioning – without intruding on the highly decorative facades – has become a much quoted treatment for the many subsequent conservation projects in Singapore.