From a collection of fishing villages to a bustling metropolis, from a hole in the ground to running water at the turn of a tap, Singapore’s story has been seen and told as miraculous. This proposal, titled “Well of Memory”, commemorates the founders of the modern republic as they sought to re-imagine and shape a fledgling nation to firstly survive and eventually thrive. Their efforts at creating a modern nation with its own identity and sense of purpose initiated this seminal ‘splash’, a process that still ripples across all aspects of Singaporean life today.
Water wells were once an essential amenity for Singapore’s residents, giving them water for drinking, bathing and cooking. At the formation of the Republic, securing and ensuring such a vital resource for the future became a metaphor for Singapore’s independence itself. It is fitting that the new Memorial stands mirrored in a waterway that is the fruit of the founders’ desires for Singapore’s self-sufficiency and tenacity.
Using the image of a splash of water and a well, the Founder’s Memorial seeks to bring together communally the many cultures of modern Singapore around another precious resource – the memory of the individuals who wrestled with and eventually laid the foundations of a uniquely Singaporean nationhood. The sensory aspects of water are further captured both in literal and abstract ways through the use of water features and in materials that are transparent, fluid and shimmering. It will be a place for all Singaporeans to reflect communally or privately on their heritage as a modern nation.