Old Supreme Court Singapore

The Old Supreme Court Singapore Building is a historic structure that was formerly used as a courthouse. Today, it serves as a museum, The National Gallery of Singapore, which is located inside the building at present. Visitors to Singapore should make it a point to stop by this magnificent structure during their time in the country. It can be found on St. Andrews Road in the Downtown Core.

The interior of the Old Supreme Court Building is notable due to the presence of murals that were painted by Italian artists. Additionally, the exterior of the building is notable due to the presence of Corinthian columns and a large green dome. Furthermore, there are multiple stops at the building on different sightseeing tours of Singapore. It is including walking tours of the Colonial District. In case you want to visit this building on your holiday in Singapore, the following information can be a benefit to read first.

The Old Supreme Court Singapore

About Old Supreme Court Singapore

The Old Supreme Court Building, also known as Bangunan Mahkamah Agung Lama in Malay and Chinese. It served as the courthouse for the Supreme Court of Singapore until it moved out of the building and began operations in the new building on June 20, 2005. The Malay name for the building is The Old Supreme Court Building. The building was the very last edifice in the former British colony to be designed and constructed in the classical architectural style.

Following the end of World War II in 1946, members of the Japanese Imperial Army who were accused of committing war crimes were tried in this structure. The building, together with the adjacent City Hall, was repurposed to become the National Gallery Singapore. Therefore, the Old Supreme Court Building and the nearby City Hall were both renovated into what is now known as the National Gallery Singapore. This are then first opened its doors in 2015.

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History of Old Supreme Court Singapore

Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas, who was serving as the Governor of the Straits Settlements at the time, was the one who placed the first stone of the Old Supreme Court Building’s foundation on April 1, 1937. A time capsule that was buried beneath the stone and contains a handful of coins from the Straits Settlements as well as six Singaporean newspapers with the date March 31, 1937, is still intact. On August 3, 1939, Sir Shenton Thomas made the building’s official opening announcement. And on the same day, he gave the building over to Sir Percy McElwaine, who was serving as Chief Justice at the time.

The Rooms

The courthouse featured 11 courtrooms in addition to adjoining chambers for the judges. In 1988, the Supreme Court requested and received permission to move an additional twelve courtrooms from the City Hall to the Supreme Court to meet the requirements of the main courthouse. In which this will require a larger number of courtrooms.

The Singapore Cricket Club, the Old Parliament House, and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall were all on the list of buildings that were scheduled to be demolished by Engineer Frank Dorrington Ward. So that it can make room for a grand government system that was created by his department. The outbreak of World War II, on the other hand, put a stop to these preparations.

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Old Supreme Court Singapore Architecture Design

The Old Bailey Courthouse in London is thought to have inspired the Old Supreme Court Singapore. To notice the resemblance is obvious. With the central dome supported by Corinthian and Ionic columns anchoring the classical facade.

An interesting feature of this structure is the columns and the tympanum made by Singapore-based Italian artist Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli and carved out of plaster. Figures of Justice are the most prominent among the tympanum’s sculptures. Mercy is shown on the left, while Law is shown on the right, with two legislators carrying books. Gratitude and Prosperity are represented by other figures. These are the outcomes of a law-and-order society.

A look inside reveals the structure was constructed during the Great Depression, as evidenced by the sparse decor. For the cornices and the main hall, plaster was applied with gypsum plaster. While the Art Deco flooring was made of rubber, which had the additional benefit of dampening noise. While Rotunda Library, located in its centre, is particularly noteworthy for the fine craftsmanship, relief panelling, and unusual cornices that adorn it.

How to Get There

The structure can be reached quickly and easily using public transportation due to its convenient positioning in the city’s core. There are stops for more than 15 buses in the area. And if you prefer, you can also take the MRT to City Hall Station. In addition, there is a taxi stand right outside the entrance on Coleman Street.

Old Supreme Court Singapore address is 1 St. Andrews Road, Downtown Core, Singapore. The ticket prices or admission fee is Standard: $20, Concession: $15, Children (7-12yrs): $15, while Children (Under 7yrs): Free.

The opening hours is from Sunday-Thursday: 10am – 7pm. While on Friday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm. During public Holidays: 10am – 7pm with last admission 30 minutes before closing.

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