Next event:
ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT

From entertainment to salvation, the former Venus Theatre in Singapore

In 1983, the Venus theatre in Singapore’s west went through a metamorphosis by adaptive reuse after the cinema suffered economically. In 1985, the Church of Our Saviour became its new occupant. Today, the church continues to operate in the community, struggling to stay relevant. This project aims to create a greater connection to the community through a multi functional, therapeutic space bringing people together whilst being relevant to the current context.


This collage shows how the project proposes to open up the enclosed space, bringing people together and breathing new life into an old building. The site happens to be strategically located along the Queenstown MRT and Queenstown Secondary School. Because of its favourable location, the church adapted the space to fit the needs of the youth who can use the site’s facilities for quick foosball games, water break, resting spot and meeting point. However, the main church auditorium remains untouched during the weekdays making this space underutilised.

Model Exploration

With a desire to open up the enclosed space, model explorations have been undertaken to break the buidling’s rigidity by adding alternate circulation, playing with volume height and width, yet celebrating the original structure, and taking both its interior and exterior activities into consideration. Some of Singapore’s buildings seem greatly influenced by Le Corbusier’s modernist, 1960s practice, especially his “Five points of architecture”. In the case of the Church of Our Saviour pilotis act as a primary support of the building.

Redefining the Church

While adaptive reuse gives a space new purpose, the church community was forced to dwell in a building that was not originally meant for its use. This photo montage hopes to represent how a church hall could look- drawing individuals into the holiness of God through considerations of form, materiality, zoning, light and shadow.

Forms, Light and Shadow

Martin Luther gave birth to the reformation and protestantism, changing Christianity through a rejection of ornamentation, the legacy of empire and majestic socio-spatial power. These model explorations look at the influence that materiality and light can have on atmospheres that may draw individual to sacredness. Taking influence from monolithic architecture where buildings were carved from a single piece of material, these models try to replicate a similar raw, intimate dwelling space.

The journey into the main sanctuary

To create a dynamic and versatile interior space that enhances the look and creates a timeless, classic feel, materials such as natural stone, in particular limestone, were used, as well as both elements of wood and glass. Lime stone is known to be strong and able to withstand abrasion. A tunnel was designed to play with depth, and a low ceiling creates a space that allows for individual contemplation.


In reference to Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Field Chapel of which he says: “In order to design building with a sensuous connection to life, one must think in a way that goes beyond form and construction” this design was established from a foundation of two contrasting materials: rock and light. With minimal ornamentation, this design hopes to bring people atmospherically into an experience of holiness.

Interior Space

This image shows the exploration undertaken, to captures both materiality, form and texture in render.

Space for the community

This project looks into creating a dual functional design, i.e. two programmes that operate at the same time in the same space. The first floor caters to a public crowd, while the upper floor caters to the existing Church of Our Saviour community. This design hopes to revitalised and be relevant to current community activities in the face of urbanisation.