The Choa Chu Kang Columbarium was predicated on the philosophy that a columbarium is not only a place for the departed, but also for the living. The architectural site planning adopted a radial concept, with building blocks radiating from a central plaza which functions as the entry and focal point to the complex. The complex comprises 16 nos. of 3-4 storey blocks and accommodates approximately 146,000 niches. Each wing accommodates a series of free standing modular blocks that not only provides a strong sculptural form but also a strong monolithic presence demarcating the niche walls. Symbolically, these heavy robust walls represent the final resting place for the dead in the complex. Functionally, niche chambers are also accommodated within these modular blocks, creating more intimate and scaled-down private spaces.
The profile of its various steel roof forms are designed to provide a light and uplifting gesture towards the sky hinting on the presence of a world above, while letting in plenty of natural light. As a result, the chambers are bright, airy and enjoy views of the courtyard spaces between blocks. The courtyards are landscaped in a manner to give each a special identity and theme. The tranquil park-like setting of the entire compound helps provide emotional relief to its visitors. The interactions of colour, shade and light maintains a calm, dignified environment for the dead, yet dispelling feelings of morbidity which are usually associated with such places.