Singapore’s national monuments have shrunk in size at this new traveling exhibition, where eight miniature local landmarks have been created from 110,000 Lego bricks.
Building History: Monuments in Bricks and Blocks just debuted at the Central Public Library. The models were designed and built by My Little Brick Shop over a period of more than seven months.
The exhibition will remain there until the end of June, after which it will roam around other libraries across the island, including ones in Marine Parade, Jurong, Tampines, and Ang Mo Kio until the end of the year.
Free for public access, the showcase spotlights familiar spots like the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Central Fire Station, Sultan Mosque, Thian Hock Keng, and National Museum of Singapore, alongside lesser-known ones such as Jurong Town Hall and Nanyang University Library.
The largest and heaviest model is the mosque, weighing more than 40kg and measuring 1.38m by 1.3m, while the tallest is the cathedral at 1.1m high. And if you peer closely enough, you can even examine the pointed arches and stained glass window details of the cathedral, the domes and minarets of the mosque, and the intricate roof details and mosaic floor of the temple.
Now, for some background on each. The Central Fire Station, built in 1909, is the country’s oldest surviving one (it’s still active today). Its firefighters have aided rescues in national emergencies like the 1961 Bukit Ho Swee fires and the 1986 Hotel New World collapse. As for the former Nanyang University Library, it’s now home to the Chinese Heritage Centre, and the former railway station saw its final train leave the tracks on June 30, 2011.
The first of the religious institutions featured, Thian Hock Keng was founded in 1842 by wealthy Chinese residents as a place of worship for Chinese immigrants. Following that, the cathedral was constructed in 1861 in a Neo-Gothic style, and it’s now the oldest surviving Anglican place of worship in Singapore. Then there’s the mosque, built in 1932 as a second iteration to replace the former royal mosque of the 1920s.
And in 1974, Jurong Town Hall was established as the headquarters for Jurong Town Corporation, while the National Museum was built way back in 1887, originally intended as a library and museum of Southeast Asian natural history.
Even if you’ve passed by these monuments multiple times before, this may be one of the few times you actually get to tower over an architectural icon of Singapore.
Central Public Library, National Library Building, Basement 1.
Until June 30, daily 10am-9pm. Free.