DECK is a non-commercial, independent arts venue, envisioned to be a place to support and nurture the community of photography enthusiasts in Singapore and Southeast Asia. From the onset, the key design decision was that the construction process has to embody a low carbon footprint, touch the site lightly and to minimize on-site construction time. Thus we developed the design based on the concept of appropriating shipping containers into “containers for photography arts”.
By stacking the containers into a compelling urban assemblage that terraces towards the “plaza” space facing the blank neighbouring party wall, we could appropriate the architectural elements on site to form an intimate urban setting that supports a multitude of events and activities. Intentionally set back from the site boundary on all sides, the building invites people on the street to venture into the forecourt or slip round its perimeter to get to the other side of the urban block, stitching the larger urban fabric with its presence.
DECK contextualizes itself as the missing physical and programmatic link between two key art institutions in the Bras-Basah Bugis precinct - Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts at Bencoolen Street and Lasalle College of the Arts at Wiandstedt Road. Student programs from both schools to participate in DECK establish a “programmatic bridge” between the 2 schools.
The iconic DECK is an excellent example of a private initiative, independent art-space. We believe DECK is a timely addition and unique contribution to the fast-developing art gallery scene in Singapore.