Lack of Physical Space is No Constraint

Jun 25, 2018


The Singapore Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition asks if there is “No More Free Space?” in Singapore.


The Singapore Pavilion, at the ongoing 16th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia), asks the intriguing question of whether there is indeed “No More Free Space?” in Singapore.

With just 720 square kilometre of physical land space, Singapore is known as the pint-size island city-state with big ambition. The issue of space and the lack of natural resources has confronted the nation throughout its 53 years of nation building.

No More Free Space?  tells the story of how – in spite of the limitations – we have had the mental “free space” to re-imagine what our compact city could be.

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The Singapore Pavilion was officially inaugurated by Mr Gabriel Lim, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Communications and Information, on 25 May 2018 in Venice, Italy.

Set against the backdrop of Singapore’s compact urban environment, the exhibition features 12 Singapore-based projects that showcase how architects have creatively found ways to bring delightful free spaces to the city’s everyday life, while cleverly borrowing natural resources such as light, air, greenery and water.

“Our vision for design is that design is going to go beyond just beautiful objects, or beautiful environments, but how design can really be able to shape a better way we live, and play in the city,” said Mr Mark Wee, Executive Director of the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) and Co-Commissioner of the Singapore Pavilion, who was in Venice for the opening of the Pavilion.

The Pavilion’s centrepiece is an immersive installation – an ethereal cloud weaved together by handcrafted acrylic knots – suspended in the vast spaces of the Sale d’Armi. Complete with a multi-sensory projection of lights, sounds, scents and images of Singapore, the pavilion invites visitors to immerse themselves in the spaces within. (Watch the video above to experience it)


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 PS Gabriel Lim with the curators of Singapore Pavilion. From left to right: (Front Row) Dr Jason Lim, Mr Gabriel Lim, Ms Wu Yen Yen

(Back Row) Mr Tomohisa Miyauchi, Dr Chong Keng Hua, Prof Erwin Viray

 “It is an acrylic structure that is self-supporting and it transmits lights. And so in the way we simulate the light sequences that sync with the videos, we hope the visitors get a sense of this envelope – like a real cloud that that envelops the visitors,” said Ms Wu Yen Yen, one of the curators and designers of the Singapore Pavilion.

The presentation will be restaged in Singapore in 2019 to engage the public about turning Singapore’s physical constraints into possibilities with imagination and creativity.

The Singapore Pavilion is open for public viewing from now till 25 November 2018. For in-depth details of the 12 projects, go to for more videos and transcripts.