A Memorial Built for Those Who Built Our Nation

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Media Release



            The five shortlisted designs will be publicly displayed for the first time, as part of an island-wide travelling showcase


SINGAPORE, 31 OCTOBER 2019 – Next month, Singaporeans will have the opportunity to take a first look at the five shortlisted designs for the Founders’ Memorial, and choose their favourite design. The shortlisted designs will be part of the Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase, which will travel island-wide from November to December 2019. Beyond the travelling showcase, Singaporeans can also choose their favourite design online. One of these five designs will eventually become the Founders’ Memorial, slated to open in 2027.

2          Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of the Founders’ Memorial Committee, said: “Singaporeans have contributed their views on the development of the Founders’ Memorial at key junctures, since it was first proposed in 2015. We have heard from Singaporeans at different stages, from the Memorial’s objectives and concept, to its physical features and location. As a landmark for us to be collectively inspired by the values and ideals of our founders, we invite Singaporeans to be a part of the making of the Memorial – by choosing their favourite design.”


The Making of the Founders’ Memorial

3          Located at Bay East Garden [1], the Founders’ Memorial is envisioned to be an integrated building and garden experience, with exhibition galleries, landscaped spaces and art installations. When complete, it will feature stories on values exemplified by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore’s first generation of leaders, and other key personalities who have played important roles in Singapore’s path to independence and in its early years. These values include those captured in our National Pledge, such as multiracialism, and others like boldness, adaptability, integrity and resilience. The Memorial’s vision and concept were distilled following various phases of engagements with Singaporeans, who expressed their hope for a Founders’ Memorial that is unique to Singapore, a landmark that shares the values and ideals that built our nation, and inspires future generations.

4          To turn the vision of the Founders’ Memorial into a reality, a two-stage international architectural design competition was launched in January 2019 to gather the best ideas for this landmark [2]. Stage One of the competition closed on 5 April 2019, with a strong response of 193 submissions from both local and foreign firms. Five designs were selected anonymously by the Jury Panel to proceed to Stage Two of the competition. By Stage Two, all shortlisted design entries are required to have local architectural firms in their teams.

5          Public engagement workshops were held end May 2019, where members of the public were invited to view the shortlisted conceptual designs, and offer their views on the visitor experience as potential visitors of the memorial. Feedback from these workshops was shared with the shortlisted teams for their consideration. In Stage Two, the shortlisted architectural teams developed and refined the design concepts according to more detailed requirements. Their final designs were subsequently submitted at the end of Stage Two of the competition on 30 September 2019.


The Five Shortlisted Designs


6          The five shortlisted designs and teams are (in alphabetical order): 


  1. 8DGE + RSP Architects

    The Founders’ Memorial is a beacon that guides Singapore into the future. The architecture is designed as a circle rising above a landscaped podium. The podium is an open space where visitors are channelled into the centre. This is called the Origin: a symbolic common space for everyone, regardless of race, language or religion. Rising above is the circle, representing harmony and inclusiveness. The circle tilts towards the sky, as if Singapore’s aspirations have taken flight, against all odds. The journey cumulates in the viewing gallery, where a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline awaits, upon which we reflect on our past and embrace the future.

    Ms Tan Ming Yin, 8DGE Founder & Design Principal, said: “Founders’ Memorial is about more than remembrance. It is also about hope and a reflection of our founders’ values. 8DGE designed for a journey that not only looks inwards – a contemplative space where we ponder on our beginnings – but also outwards, where we set our sights upon the future. The architecture conveys both a contemplative yet expressive presence. At night, the Founders’ Memorial lights up, like a shining star in the universe.”


  2. Cox Architecture + architects61

    The Singapore flag is the inspiration for the site, which is marked by five pathways – representing the five stars and the abstracted crescent moon – the Memorial. Each pathway is a physical celebration of the ideals that each star of the flag represents – democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

    The social history, trials, tribulations and victories of the Singaporean people act as the inspiration for the internal makeup of the Memorial. It is a place of internal and collective reflection whereby the act of procession through the building is a journey to understanding the rich and complex history of the nation.

    Mr Philip Cox, Founder, Cox Architecture, said: “The Founders’ Memorial is an abstraction symbolising Singapore bridging the past and the future over water and land within a park environment. It incorporates Singapore’s history of development through a series of spaces climaxing with stunning views of Singapore today. The building is timeless in its expression, a shape that is elegant, enticing and evocative of its content.” 



  3. DP Architects

    The memorial is a quiet yet powerful tribute to our founding fathers and their selfless giving to nation building. Shaped like a cradle, its curved form is inspired by the hands of our founding fathers – hands that have worked tirelessly, placing nation above self, to nurture a young nation into the independent Republic it is today.

    Its form, cupped in a gesture of giving, nestles the iconic Singapore skyline in its cusp. It expresses our founders’ commitment and aspirations; where our present successes and future of our nation are possible through the core values we have inherited from our founders.

    Ms Angelene Chan, CEO, DP Architects, said: “The human hand is a compelling symbol, universally resonating with strength, guidance, hard work and honesty – these are the hands of our founders; and formed the starting point of our design. From this, we created a Form that represents their contribution to Singapore’s growth. Like a cradle of cupped hands, it presents the gift of our nation to a future generation. In this gesture of giving, our design is an expression of gratitude for how they have raised a nation.”



  4. Johnson Pilton Walker + RDC Architects

    We have crafted a memorial design that rises out of the earth to evoke the crescent moon of the national flag; symbolising a young, rising nation. It looks to the future.

    To honour the past, the arrival experience celebrates the diversity of Singapore’s people, who are gathered together from all corners of the world to the central plaza, united by shared founding values. This is the epicentre of the experience, engraved in many languages.

    Set on the water, amidst lush gardens, and with panoramic skyline views, this is a timeless, civic place accessible for all and allowing growth into the future.

    Mr Brendan Murray, Senior Associate, Johnson Pilton Walker, said: “Our design has people at its heart. We were inspired by the idea that people from different cultures can come together and live in harmony: Singapore has this remarkable story to tell.  And so, the place we’ve created comes straight from the heart: the design draws people together to a central focal point, to meet each other and be reminded of the values that unite them. It’s an emotional and inclusive experience, evoking a young nation rising to the future.” 


  5. Kengo Kuma & Associates + K2LD Architects

The Founders’ Memorial draws from monuments of the past and the context of the present to create a space for the future.


The concept originates from a path; a journey retracing the legacy of the founders. Multiple paths shape the architecture and landscape, inviting visitors to reflect, learn, and share while contemplating the dynamic skyline or the lush gardens. All paths lead to the memorial amphitheatre where visitors gather for milestone events.


As a living memorial, the proposal extends the legacy of The Garden City into the future for generations to come.


“The Founders’ Memorial, a new kind of monument”  


Mr Kengo Kuma, Principal at Kengo Kuma & Associates, said: “More than a building, we envision a garden park: a place for all people to gather close to nature. The basis of the design, The Founders’ Path, is a central spine, which cuts through the garden, defining the new topography with memorial slopes emerging from the landscape to house the programme. A network of meandering paths and canopies reaches out from the garden, drawing visitors inward; offering glimpses of the memorial, and finally revealing the city skyline beyond.”



Bringing the Memorial to Life – Garnering Public Feedback on the Designs

7          The five shortlisted designs will be publicly displayed this November and December, as part of the Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase. At the showcase, which will be in all four official languages, visitors can view the five designs, and choose their favourite at interactive feedback stations. They can also learn more about the Founders’ Memorial project. To enable visitors to better understand each design, an architectural model, accompanied by information boards and a video on the design concept and features, will be on display. The showcase will kick off at IMM on 4 November 2019, and later rove to venues island-wide. Please refer to Annex A for the dates and venues of the travelling showcase.

8          Beyond the travelling showcase, Singaporeans can also view the five designs online and choose their favourite design at foundersmemorial.sg, by 31 December 2019. The public feedback from both the showcase and online [3] will be collated and provided to the Jury Panel, who will take it into account as they evaluate the submissions and select the winning design. The Jury will also consider several other factors such as functionality and technical feasibility of the schemes. The winning design will be announced by Q1 2020.

Please refer to:

  • Annex B for the Site Map of the Founders’ Memorial
  • Annex C for the Architectural Design Competition schedule
  • Annex D for the Jury Panel


[1] Bay East Garden was chosen through public consultation as it symbolically captures Singapore’s journey as a nation: The panoramic view of the evolving cityscape, is a nod to Singapore’s economic growth and urban development; the site on reclaimed land along the Marina Reservoir reminds us how we have dealt with our water and land constraints; and the garden setting reflects our development as a ‘Garden City’, and now ‘City in a Garden’. 

[2] Beyond comprising a series of internal and external spaces that are intended to convey the story and meaning of Singapore’s founding values and ideals, the Founders’ Memorial is envisaged to have significant civic presence, integrate architectural and landscape design, and be accessible to visitors.

[3] Only feedback received before 31 December 2019 will be considered.

– END –

For media queries, please contact:

Elizabeth Tang
Manager, Strategic Communications & Digital
National Heritage Board 
Contact: 6332 3921
Email: Elizabeth_TANG@nhb.gov.sg

Jonathan Goh
Assistant Director (Marcoms), National Museum of Singapore
National Heritage Board
Contact: 6332 3958
Email: Jonathan_GOH@nhb.gov.sg

About the Founders’ Memorial

The Founders’ Memorial will commemorate the values and ideals exemplified by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore’s first generation leaders, as well as other key personalities who played important roles in Singapore’s path to independence, and in the early years of Singapore’s nation-building process. The Memorial’s narrative will take a values-driven approach as guided by its concept, which was derived from the Founders’ Memorial Committee’s engagement with Singaporeans in 2015 – 2017.

Envisioned as an integrated gallery and gardens experience at the Bay East Garden, the Memorial aims to both commemorate how independent Singapore came to be, and inspire Singaporeans to commit themselves to contribute towards the nation’s future.

The Memorial is currently in its second stage of development, and the Committee will continue to engage Singaporeans to gather their views on its design. More information on the Founders’ Memorial is available at foundersmemorial.sg.



Founders’ Memorial


Taman Tugu Pengasas

சிங்கப்பூர்ச் சிற்பிகள் நினைவகம்

Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase


Pameran Reka Bentuk Taman Tugu Pengasas

சிங்கப்பூர் சிற்பிகள் நினைவக வடிவமைப்பு கண்காட்சி






Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase Travelling Schedule



4 – 10 November 2019

IMM (Level 2 Atrium)

11 – 17 November 2019

Kampung Admiralty (Community Plaza)

18 November – 1 December 2019

National Museum of Singapore (Stamford Gallery)

2 – 8 December 2019

Toa Payoh HDB Hub Mall (Atrium)

9 – 20 December 2019

Waterway Point (The Cove)

23 – 29 December 2019

Our Tampines Hub (Festive Walk West & Festive South)



Founders’ Memorial Site Map



Architectural Design Competition Schedule


Completion Date / Time


Announcement of Design Competition

(Stage One competition period: 12 weeks)

10 January 2019 (Thu)


Briefing and Site Visit

(Interested participants are strongly encouraged to attend)

28 January 2019 (Mon), 10 am


Closing date for registration

15 February 2019 (Fri)


Date and time for Stage One submissions

5 April 2019 (Fri) by 12 noon (GMT +8)


Notification and confirmation of shortlisted teams and entries for Stage Two

Facilitated public consultation workshops for shortlisted entries

May 2019


Date and time for Stage Two submissions

30 September 2019 (Mon) by 12 noon (GMT +8)


Public exhibition and consultation for Stage Two submissions

November - December 2019


Presentation of Stage Two submissions to Jury Panel / Selection of winning design

Q1 2020

Note: Dates may be subject to change. Any changes would be made known to competitors in advance.



Architectural Design Competition Jury Panel


The seven-member Jury Panel for the competition comprises the following members:

  • Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman, Founders’ Memorial Committee (Chairperson of the Jury Panel)
  • Mr Daniel Libeskind, Founder and Principal Architect, Studio Libeskind
  • Mr Jun-ichi Inada, Managing Director, WIN Landscape Planning & Design International
  • Mr Tai Lee Siang, Executive Director (BuildSG), Building and Construction Authority, Singapore
  • Dr Kiat W. Tan, Corporate Advisor, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
  • Ms Fun Siew Leng, Chief Urban Designer, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore
  • Ms Chang Hwee Nee, Chief Executive Officer, National Heritage Board, Singapore