Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Kent Ridge, Singapore


National University of Singapore



Project Type




Integrated into the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) architectural landscape and facing the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), the four-storey Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music is fronted by a large canopy and plaza, which is shared with the neighbouring University Cultural Centre. Being a music school, its architectural concept centres not just around the main theme of light, but also of acoustics and music as well.

The main reception, clad in glazed curtain wall supported by paired bow trusses resembling violin or cello strings, is flooded with natural daylight as one enters the building, echoing the diffused, day-lit teaching rooms and practice studios organised around courtyards found at the education wing.  As the building hugs the curve of the slip road fronting the AYE, this afforded the opportunity to design spaces and rooms that have non-parallel opposing walls. It saves them from disruptive flutter echoes and bestows each space with its own unique acoustic character, resulting in a symphony of musical boxes integrated into a composition of a simple circulation pattern. The latter links the communal activity spaces, stringing together key facilities that range from the grand 600-seat concert hall, to the mid-sized orchestral hall and recital studios, to more intimate teaching and practice seminar and ensemble rooms, as well as the library.


  • 2012 – Steel Design Awards (Merit)