Careful and thorough research into the architectural history of the building, through research at the National Archives, as well as contributions by parishioners’ information and documents to provide evidence of the buildings’ past, informed the team and cemented the direction of restoring the church to its original Gothic-style glory, the period prior to its major ‘modernisation’ works in 1969.
As a result, the team went on to successfully recapture not just the physical architecture and spatial qualities of the old church, but also its inherent spirit and original ambience. Adhering to the 3R principles, a sensitive approach was taken to retain original fixtures and finishes like its ironmongery, memorial plaques. Existing stained-glass windows were carefully cleaned and restored by expert Italian artisans. Flooring patterns sympathetic to the missing original tiles, as well as the pressed-metal ceiling cornice were also reinstated. No effort was spared in reinstating religious artifacts and relics.
The cast-iron staircase leading to the Belfry was also fittingly returned to its right place having been displaced by an out-of-element timber deck and ad-hoc loft from a previous renovation. Timber doors and windows were reinstated with the use of original ironmongery. Changes that were necessary were carefully thought through. A corrugated metal roof was chosen in order to retain the original century-old roof structure, which could not bear additional weight of tiles.
The missing rose window was recreated to match existing ones. New fixtures like the hanging lanterns were specially designed to complement the rich history of the church, incorporating symbols of the Key and the Sword representing St. Peter and St. Paul. Amenities such as floor mounted air-conditioners were installed inconspicuously beside windowsills to not obstruct the views of the timber doors and windows. Improved sound and lighting systems were also discreetly integrated with minimum disruption to visual impact.
Owner: Titular RC Archbishop of Singapore
Architect: RDC Architects Pte Ltd
Engineer: ECAS-EJ Consultants Pte Ltd
Contractor: Towner Construction Pte Ltd