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Parliament of Singapore

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The Parliament of Singapore (GPS: 1.28915, 103.85048) is located in the Civic District of the Downtown Core within Singapore's Central Business District. It was was designed to represent a contemporary architectural expression of stateliness and authority. The prism-shaped top was designed by the late former President of Singapore, Ong Teng Cheong.

The new Parliament of Singapore comprises three blocks namely the Chamber Block, Front Block and Public Block and integrated to the existing restored Parliament House building of 1864. The Old Parliament House building was gazetted as a national monument on 14 February 1992.

The new Parliament of Singapore was built not only as a venue for parliamentary debates, but also a research centre and meeting place for the members of parliament (MPs), as well as a place of interest for students and the general public. The main entrance of Parliament House at North Bridge Road is preceded by a grand ceremonial driveway flanked by palm trees and complimented by fountain pools. The building's grand foyer is toped by the timber atrium.

The new parliamentary Chamber features contemporary IT features such as electronic voting system, an integrated congress system, IT terminals and so on. In addition, a new sound-proofed Educational Gallery was built on the top floor of the chamber allowing for staff and teachers to verbally explain live parliamentary proceedings to students. Also part of the new building are a 170-seat auditorium, a library, a range of meeting and IT rooms and media facilities, a dining room, a 100-seat public cafeteria and even a gymnasium. The car park is located below ground, leaving space above for lush landscaping.

The proposal to erect a new Parliament House came in the early 1980s, when the existing building began to suffer from space constraints. Although the old building has been renovated several times to accommodate the demand for space, it was still insufficient to meet the growing needs. The then First Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong proposed the idea to build a new parliament house in 1989, and the project kicked off in May the same year.

A team was formed to design and build the new house. It was headed by Liu Thai Ker, CEO and Chief Planner of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and comprised architects and engineers from the URA and the Public Works Department (PWD). The project received government approval in 1992, and a budget of S$148.2 million was earmarked for it. Visits were made to other legislative buildings in Australia and to Europe, where some of the oldest buildings of such nature are situated. The team bring together ideas learned and incorporated them into the new building's concept plan. Construction began in 1995. The new Parliament House was completed in July 1999 at a cost of S$115.2 million.

On 6 September 1999, the flag of Singapore was lowered for the last time at the old Parliament House, before the ceremonial "walk over" was conducted to the new building. Led by the Speaker of Parliament and the Prime Minister, the entourage of MPs walked along Parliament Place, a renamed segment of High Street, to the new Parliament House where the flag was unfurled and hoisted with the national anthem being played. The entourage then filed into the new Chamber, where the parliamentary debate resumed.

On 4 October 1999, the new Parliament House building was officially opened with a simple ceremony held at the building's foyer, where a stainless steel plaque was unveiled before 500 MPs and invited guests.

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