Client: Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore
Organised by FARM
The old Singapore National Stadium is a national icon that has hosted countless cultural, sporting, entertainment events and national day parades. Opened in July 1973, the stadium officially closed on 30 June 2007, and was later demolished for development of a Sports Hub and the new Singapore National Stadium by 2014.
We were commissioned, as one of twenty-five Singapore designers and architects, by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore to each create a bench using the wooden planks salvaged from the old stadium. These ironwood planks were previously bolted down as long benches, lined continuously around the stadium.
The planks also have many holes left behind by the previous fixtures. Bolting down the benches had made it easy to replace them when they disintegrate in the outdoors environment. Hence, the logic and beauty of bolting down the long planks became obvious.
To us, the task is to preserve this piece of historical relic that brings back memories of the old stadium, and to design the bench that can be enjoyed comfortably by the public. Thus, the project started with the idea to keep this experience of sitting on a long bench.
We designed the bench to be constructed in the simplest method, the planks were bolted onto 4 identical steel braces that were fastened at intervals along the length of the planks. We were able to re-interpret the construction to make it ergonomically better as an outdoor bench. Besides comfort, this assembly method also adds a strong flexibility to the production of the bench in any length.
The Kallang Bench is inspired by the material, the construction and the experience of sitting in the old stadium. It remains a reflective continuation of its past, embracing the beauty of the weather-beaten textures and old bolt marks left by the previous fixtures in the old National Stadium.
The Kallang Bench, made with the salvaged wooden planks, currently sits along Marina Bay.