The Old Parliament House was first constructed as a mansion for a British merchant, John Maxwell but it never did serve this purpose. Architect George Coleman built the stately building, which functioned as Singapore’s first court-house.
After 1939, the building in its semi-derelict state served as a government storeroom and was restored to its former glory to become the Assembly House in 1954. It was subsequently renamed as Parliament House in 1965 when Singapore became an independent state.
The Chamber was fully air-conditioned and had concealed microphones and loudspeakers. At its maximum capacity, the Chamber was able to house up to 90 seats for Members of Parliament. With the number of Members expected to increase further in the future, it was inevitable that a move to a bigger space with better facilities was necessary .