Stories > Shared Histories

2018 • Issue 1

Shared Histories

Singapore’s Indian Heritage Centre, which sits at 5 Campbell Lane in Little India and was opened to the public on May 8, 2015, is the first museum in South-east Asia dedicated to the Indian community’s diverse heritage. It was collaboratively designed by top architects Gaurang Khemka and Greg Shand, who hail from India and New Zealand respectively.

With a glass façade that is reflective by day and shimmering with colour at night, the building is a fascinating ode to the vibrant culture it was made to showcase. It is home to more than 440 artefacts, ranging from jewellery, stone sculptures and woodcarvings, to vintage suitcases used by Indian immigrants from early in Singapore’s history.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who officiated the centre’s launch in 2015, called it a timely gift from the Indian community to Singapore. That year marked the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence as well as 50 years of diplomatic ties between Singapore and India. He also noted that the Indian community has been adding to the richness of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society since 1819, helping to anchor Singapore’s place and identity in an ever-changing world.

The centre is also the first museum in Singapore to achieve a Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Gold rating for its environmentally friendly and sustainable design, which maximises ventilation and significantly reduces the need for air-conditioned spaces.

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