This remarkable museum houses the region's most comprehensive collection of pan-Asian treasures. Its galleries explore the history, cultures and religions of Southeast Asia, China, the Asian subcontinent and Islamic West Asia. Currently undergoing a radical transformation, including two additional wings, the new galleries will be curated to emphasise the cross-cultural connections developed due to Singapore's history as a port city. Already open, the Tang Shipwreck showcases over 500 pieces of recovered booty. All galleries will be open in 2017.
The museum occupies the stately Empress Place Building. Designed by British architect John Frederick Adolphus McNair and built using Indian convict labour in 1865, it originally housed the colonial government offices. Note the elegant fusion of Palladian classicism and tropical touches, among them timber louvered shutters and a wide, shaded porch.