The former three-storey Tao Nan Primary School was built in 1910 and was saved from dereliction when the National Heritage Board decided to restore and convert it into the first wing of the Asian Civilisations Museum, showcasing Asian arts, culture and heritage.
The project involves structural strengthening, damp proofing, repair and reconstruction of parts of the building. The cellular nature of the school classroom layout was adapted to gallery needs, while the atrium space was retained to help orientate visitors moving about the galleries. A new extension with a service basement accommodates curatorial back-of-house needs, and was designed to meet international standards in critical aspects such as security and environmental controls. The contemporary design of the new building responds to the old building in terms of scale, rhythm, proportion and the continuity of the sill and roof lines.