Officially opened at Stamford Road in 1960, the former National Library had a reinforced concrete framed structure with brick walls that reflect the red-brick epoch of British architecture in the 1950s. The building was designed by architect Lionel Bintley of the Public Works Department.
After more than four decades, the library was closed and demolished in 2004 to make way for the Singapore Management University (SMU) and the Fort Canning Tunnel.
Following the demolition, the two red-brick entrance pillars and fence of the former National Library were left behind as a reminder of the library’s contribution to Singapore’s cultural and literary heritage.
The National Library reopened in 2005 at its current location on Victoria Street.
Safekeeping and return of the entrance pillars
In 2019, SMU began constructing the Tahir Foundation Connexion, a new five-storey addition to the SMU city campus. To prevent damages from the construction works, the red-brick pillars and their connecting fences were removed from its site for safekeeping.
The pillars returned to its original place and integrated into the surroundings of the SMU’s city campus in 2020.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.gov.sg are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.gov.sg does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of April 2021 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.