|The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is the first museum in the region to present a broad yet integrated perspective of pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. To promote a better appreciation of the rich cultures that make up Singapore's multi-ethnic society.
The oldest part of this building, formerly known as Empress Place Building, was completed in 1867, the year that Singapore became a British Crown Colony. It was one of the last public works projects built by convict labourers.
Designed by J F A McNair as a Court House, the building was used instead by various Government departments. At one time, it housed virtually the entire colonial bureaucracy and was known simply as Government Offices. The central portion was built 1864-65 in anticipation of Singapore's transfer of rule from India to the Colonial Office. Subsequent additions were made to the building which was renamed Empress Place Building in 1907 to commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria, Empress of India.
After Singapore attained self-government in 1959, the building continued to house Government offices including the Registry of Citizenship, the Immigration Department, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the Muslim Religious Council of Singapore and the Board of Commissioners of Currency.
All of the offices were relocated in the 1980s and the building was converted to become the Empress Place Museum in 1989. The building subsequently underwent a second, more major renovation and reopened on 2 March 2003 as the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Its first premises at Armenian Street was opened on 21 April 1997 by then Deputy PM Lee Hsien Loong, with two-thirds of its galleries showcasing the Chinese civilisation.
(Source: National Heritage Board)
Guided Tours - Volunteer docents give tours on most days. You need to enquire at Front Desk for the latest tour timings.