Case study 1: Muse Bar

The word ‘muse’ works as a noun, verb or an adverb, so the name Muse Bar means several things. It is mainly about being inspired – which is what the museum is doing for people. I wanted the bar to be chic but also to retain the history of the museum and t



Client: Muse Bar
Designer/architect: Suite Interior Design Pte
Lighting (LED lights): Hawko Trading Co Pte
Main contractor: MatchBox Interiors Pte

The brief: The word ‘muse’ works as a noun, verb or an adverb, so the name Muse Bar means several things. It is mainly about being inspired – which is what the museum is doing for people. I wanted the bar to be chic but also to retain the history of the museum and the beauty of its traditional architecture. It is different from the other clubs – Muse Bar is a haven, separate from city life. It is a place where people can enjoy good music, food and drink, and be inspired.


Wei Tan says: ‘I was inspired by certain architectural elements of the museum, and custom-designed some furniture around them. The rectangular bar tables and their criss-cross patterns were inspired by a similar pattern on the museum’s dome.


Symmetry was something that we wanted to reflect in the space planning of Muse. The over-sized screens were positioned with the existing columns to allow us to partially screen off three rooms. We wanted to create grand gestures that would have a very strong visual impact, hence the strips of black mirror that run across the entire length of the space and down one side of the wall, to act


as a backdrop for the DJ console. The pattern of the floor tiles was also laid to echo this order and symmetry. The eight existing columns make a strong architectural feature; we capitalised on that by accentuating the columns with lights and creating a black recessed strip to contrast them with the finishing of the ceiling.


The museum is a very interactive space that engages visitors, and we complemented it by creating a space that allows them to experience it in various ways. For example, different visual moods can be created simply by changing the colour of the LED lights in the mirror strips on the ceiling. The assortment of spaces within Muse allows customers to choose where they want to sit, be it at the bar or on the outdoor deck. Muse acts as a gathering space at the museum where people can wind down after work.


I would like to think that Muse and its design makes it a ‘forward-thinking’ venue which encapsulates what Singapore is supposed to be in the 21st century. By allowing a bar to be in such a monumental building, Muse draws people to the museum and breaks down the conventional idea of it being a boring and unhip place. We would like Muse to be thought of as a venue that breaks boundaries rather than one that looks back to the past.’



Specifier’s checklist:
• Chandeliers: Custom-made
• Tiles: Bisazza, Italy
• Green fabric for outdoor curved seat: Maharam, US
• Crystal acrylic panels for feature light in Krug Bar: Lumicor, US
• Bar stools: Konstantin Grcic, Germany
• Benches: Frank Gehry, Spain
• Other furniture: BD Barcleona, Spain
• Sofa: Jamie Hayon, Spain



Project completed: March 2007

Latest articles