MS Originals

ROM To Be Redesigned By Students Because It Looks Like A ‘Polyclinic’

Polytechnic & University Students To Modernise 36-Year-Old ROM Building In Fort Canning

Pragmatism makes many a Singaporean couple. After all, we live in a place where the idea of a romantic – or unromantic – proposal starts with “BTO ai mai?” 

Perhaps this may explain why the officiating of marriages tends to drift towards practicality than lovey-dovey vibes. 

We’re talking about the Registry of Marriages (ROM) building here, in case you haven’t gotten it yet.


Its interiors are often described as tacky and unromantic – “is that a polyclinic counter at the front?” – but things are set to change come 2022.

The building that houses the ROM and Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) will be undergoing a design uplift. Hopefully, it’ll inject more ‘lomantic’ feels for every couple’s big day.

An open lobby concept

A central garden concept

Above are artist impressions of what the halls of ROM could look like for couples who plan to tie the knot in 2022 onward. We can’t wait to find out more of what’s to come. 

Modernising ROM with open & garden concepts

Earlier this year, Singaporeans were told that the iconic Registration of Marriages (ROM) building, in Fort Canning Park, will be refurbished starting mid-2020.


About 150 students from Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD), Temasek Polytechnic, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, have put forward design proposals to reimagine its interiors.

On Friday (Aug 23), TODAY Online reported that 7 concepts have been shortlisted based on creativity and practicality.


Other than artist impressions, there are also small-scale models of their designs to give you a better feel of their ideas.



Among some of the concepts proposed entail:

  • replacing current waiting area with a central garden for a zen and relaxed atmosphere
  • smaller and more intimate waiting spaces
  • using natural lighting to brighten up solemnisation rooms
  • including elements of greenery using columns that look like intertwining trees

“Polyclinic” a common sentiment for ROM building

Before coming up with their ideas, students conducted research surveys and found that most visitors and married couples think the building looks like a “polyclinic”.

It also feels “too systematic and sterile.”

Reception desk at ROM resembles one at a polyclinic

The ROM’s queue ticketing system reinforces this sentiment, especially since couples have to take a printed ticket and wait on a row of plastic chairs for their turn.


As for the solemnisation rooms, this is how they currently look like — closed curtains that are only opened after couples recite their vows.


Using technology to ensure efficiency

Besides looking chio, students also think that the the registration process can be more efficient and enjoyable with technology, reports TODAY Online.

This can be done by using digital panels to showcase pertinent info such as buying BTO flats and honeymoon packages.

A student presenting his ideas to Social and Family Development Minister Mr Desmond Lee.

You are welcome to drop by the ROM and ROMM building from now to 20 Sep to have a closer look at the shortlisted designs.


Hopeful this will offset low birth rates?

Registering your marriage is an essential rite of passage other than putting a ring on your lover.

So, we believe that couples should be able to do so in a beautiful place that packs the ‘lomantic’ feels. The students are doing a great job so far in giving the iconic building the makeover it deserves.

Let’s hope couples can make even more memorable experiences in Fort Canning Park after this, and more babies too, hopefully? What do you think of the students’ ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image adapted from Google Maps, TODAY Online, and TODAY Online.

Amanda Yeap

Amanda is obsessed with wet tissues, especially 100% antibacterial bamboo organic ones. She also likes to use them to chope tables at eateries.

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