The island state of Singapore has a legacy dating back to the 11th century. The settlement gained importance in the period of the 14th century during the rule of Parameswara, a Srivijayan prince at which time it functioned as a port of significance. Singapore’s transition to modernity began with the establishment of a British port under Sir Stamford Raffles.
The imposing Old Parliament House in Singapore lays claim to a rich and varied history. This building was used as the location for the sittings of the Parliament of Singapore from 1965 up to 1999, at which time it was relocated to a new venue. Today the building is known as the Arts House at the Old Parliament and functions as a centre for the arts, hosting concerts and art exhibitions.
Construction of the Old Parliament House was finished in 1827 and it was team building singapore considered to be an example of the Neo-Palladian style of architecture. It was initially built as the residence of John Argyle Maxwell, a Scottish merchant. Initially the British government leased the building from Maxwell for official use; when the property was auctioned in 1841 it was purchased by the government.
Over the years several modifications and renovations were implemented on the building. In this endeavour the original Neo-Palladian architectural style of the edifice was gradually changed into a Victorian style appearance.
At the front of the magnificent building a striking bronze statue of an elephant may be seen. This impressive statue was gifted by King Chulalongkorn of Siam (today’s Thailand) as an expression of his appreciation following his visit in 1871.
The Arts House which now occupies the building was launched in 2004. One of Singapore’s most significant arts and heritage institutions, the Arts House aims to inspire a passion for the arts amongst visitors and to make the arts an integral part of their lives. It aims to create a strong relationship between the art-loving public and artists through their artworks.
The Arts House forges strong links between artists, art organizations and art enthusiasts through a wide range of attractive and stimulating events featuring contemporary art and entertainment. The splendid interior of the building provides a superb location for the display of artworks with its expansive well-lit rooms.
The Arts House with the collaboration of Singapore’s Business Times has launched a programme to nurture artistic talent amongst youngsters, providing assistance to talented children of non-affluent families.
The organization also conducts a Cultural Relationships Programme which aims to provide gifted Singaporean artists with a platform to display their masterpieces on the international stage.