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09 Mar 2020

Winner of the Founders' Memorial International Architectural Design Competition Unveiled
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Winner of the Founders' Memorial International Architectural Design Competition Unveiled

View from new central road_W2300px

Media Release


SINGAPORE, 09 MARCH 2020 – The submission by Kengo Kuma & Associates in collaboration with K2LD Architects has been selected as the winner of the international architectural design competition for the Founders’ Memorial. The competition, launched in January 2019, attracted a strong response of 193 submissions from local and foreign firms. From these, five designs were shortlisted by the Jury Panel.

2 From the five shortlisted designs, the Jury Panel unanimously selected Kengo Kuma & Associates and K2LD Architects’ submission as the winning design, as it:

  • Best captures the intent and objectives of the design brief;
  • Responds creatively to the brief and the site;
  • Has distinctive architectural, landscaping and place-making characteristics;
  • Is practical, economically feasible and financially sustainable;
  • Is designed for safety, buildability and ease of maintenance and
  • Received positive public feedback at the Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase

3 All five shortlisted designs were showcased at various locations island wide and online as part of the Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase, from November to December 2019. Over 50,000 responses were garnered, and this feedback was provided to the Jury Panel for their consideration in the evaluation of the designs.

Site-specific Design that Complements and Allows for Future Growth

4 The Jury Panel chose the winning design by Kengo Kuma & Associates and K2LD Architects as it stood out as a site-specific design that best encapsulates the aspirations of the design brief [1]. Its organic form creates a welcome counterpoint to the domes of Gardens by the Bay. It represents a bold and imaginative new type of memorial which rises out of the landscape. Conceptually different from the other shortlisted designs, it emphasises Singapore as a “City in a Garden” and allows for future growth. More than a singular building, it is a sustainable, environmentally progressive reflection of the ideals of Singapore. In addition, the design has great potential to provide multi-layered experiences for all visitors in its blending of external and internal spaces.

5 Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of the Founders’ Memorial Committee, said: “The winning design is sensitive and functional, and embodies the spirit and values of Singapore’s founding team of leaders. It is a unique design, incorporating landscape and architecture, that brings visitors on a journey of discovery. The jury also noted that the winning design proposal is strong in meeting the required technical and functional criteria – for example, good accessibility and integration with Bay East Garden, connectivity to various transportation nodes, thoughtful layout of spaces and visitor flow, relatively easy to construct and to maintain, and adaptable to future programming and activities.”

6 According to Mr Kengo Kuma, design lead of the winning team, “Our design concept for the Founders’ Memorial originates from the idea of a path – a journey tracing the legacy of Singapore’s founding leaders. It simultaneously honours the past, and inspires the present and future. The design aims to be a ‘living memorial’, to be owned by each new generation of Singaporeans. There will be ample spaces for the celebration of milestone events, all set against the changing skyline of Singapore.”

7 Mr Ko Shiou Hee, project architect, said: “The design also features multiple paths carved out of the architecture and landscape, representing Singapore’s multiculturalism. These paths merge together in the centre of the memorial, celebrating the shared values and ideals that we stand for as a nation. As a Singaporean, I am especially excited to co-lead the project to honour our founding leaders and their values.”

8 Following the announcement of the winning design, Kengo Kuma & Associates and K2LD Architects will be commissioned to develop the design of the Founders’ Memorial with the National Heritage Board and Gardens by the Bay. The construction works for the memorial are expected to commence in 2022, and the Founders’ Memorial is expected to be completed by 2027. Public will continue to be consulted in the development of the detailed building design and the formulation of the content and programming concepts over the next few years.

Please refer to:

  • Annex A for Images of the Winning Design
  • Annex B for Composition of the Winning Team
  • Annex C for the Jury Panel
  • Annex D for Milestones of the International Architectural Design Competition

[1] 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. These attributes were distilled from the Founders’ Memorial Committee’s engagement with Singaporeans in 2015 – 2017.


– 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


Images of the Winning Design by Kengo Kuma & Associates and K2LD Architects

View from new central road

Arrival lake

View from across the bay

View from promenade

Forest trail

Arrival from car park

Connection between two buildings


Visitor centre lobby

Viewing gallery



Composition of the Winning Team

Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA) is led by Kengo Kuma, a Japanese architect and professor at the University of Tokyo. It is an award-winning architectural partnership based in Tokyo, established in 1990.   Among KKAA’s major works are the V&A Museum Dundee (Scotland, UK), the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum (Kochi, Japan), and they took part in the design team for the National Stadium (Tokyo, Japan).

K2LD Architects, a Singaporean firm led by Singaporean Ko Shiou Hee, is an international practice established in Singapore in 2000 and Melbourne in 2007. A homegrown brand, their projects include Christ Methodist Church (Singapore) and Yong Tai Red Cliff Visitor Centre (Fuzhou, China).

CPG Consultants will be involved in contract administration, and will be the consultants for civil and structural engineering, transport engineering, and quantity surveying.

Other key team members include Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture (landscaping), Buro Happold Engineering and Aecom (engineering) and Lighting Planners Associates (lighting design).



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 and member of Founders’ Memorial Committee
  • 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


Milestones of the Founders’ Memorial Architectural Design Competition

  • Launched in January 2019, the architectural design competition attracted a strong response of 193 submissions from local and foreign firms, from which five designs were shortlisted to proceed to Stage Two of the competition. The five designs were:
    1. 8DGE + RSP Architects
    2. Cox Architecture + architects61
    3. DP Architects
    4. Johnson Pilton Walker + RDC Architects
    5. Kengo Kuma & Associates + K2LD Architects
  • Public engagement workshops held in May 2019 saw members of the public offering 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 further developed their design concepts. Given the nature of this national project, all shortlisted design entries were required to have local architectural firms in their teams by this stage of the process. Their final designs were subsequently submitted in September 2019.
  • As part of continued public engagement, members of the public could learn about the five shortlisted designs, view the respective architectural models and choose their favourite at the Founders’ Memorial Design Showcase, which travelled island-wide from November to December 2019. Public could also learn about the designs and choose their favourite online at foundersmemorial.sg. Public feedback from both the showcase and online were subsequently collated and provided to the Jury Panel for their consideration in the evaluation of the designs.
  • In Q1 2020, following presentations by the respective teams, the Jury Panel evaluated the five shortlisted designs based on various factors such as aesthetics, how well the design captured the vision, objectives and design intent, as well as the functionality and technical feasibility of the schemes. Kengo Kuma & Associates and K2LD Architects’ submission was finally chosen as the winning design.