As one of the region’s most advanced modern city, it comes as no surprise that Singapore has produced a few architectural gems, recognised on a global scale. There’s a whole lot of man-made beauty here – you just have to know where to look. Whether you’re looking for architectural inspiration, a worthy backdrop for your next selfie, or are simply a lover of great design, these nine pieces of architecture in Singapore are sure to impress even the harshest of critics
Labelled 'Hotel of the Future' by Forbes Magazine, PARKROYAL on Pickering pioneers a unique 'hotel-in-a-garden' design concept with more than 15,000 square metres of lush gardens, waterfalls, planter walls and a diverse variety of over 10 flora species. The visually-arresting facade was inspired by the rice-paddy fields of Bali - reminiscent of a modern-day interpretation of the hanging gardens of Babylon.
The much lauded hotel was featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie 'Hitman, Agent 47' and has bagged numerous accolades such as the President's Design Award, INSIDE Awards, 2013 at the World Architecture Festival and is in the running for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award for International Excellence.
Since its inception in 2012, Gardens By The Bay has garnered heaps of accolades, one of which was ‘World Building of the Year’ at the 2012 World Architecture Festival. And not without good reason either. The Supertree Grove in particular, which is in essence made up of gigantic vertical gardens with alien-like canopies, is a marvel to look at and makes you feel as if you've walked right into the world of 'Avatar'. Not to mention the many urban greenhouses and conservatories that will certainly satisfy nature buffs.
Whether or not you’re a lover of art, you can’t deny the magnificence that is the National Gallery. Formerly a City Hall and Supreme Court, the grandiose building dates back to 1929, and now houses modern works of art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. Get ready to be awed by the glass roof and the brass and marble pillars in the City Hall Chamber, where the first prime minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, was sworn in.
Famously referred to by locals as the “Durian building”, the Esplanade’s spiky, dome-shaped exterior certainly bears an uncanny resemblance to the hard-shelled tropical fruit. The establishment, which houses a concert hall, theatre, and, a number of retail outlets, has become an icon of Singapore, putting the country on the world map.
A popular haunt for joggers as well as Instagrammers searching for a picturesque spot, the 274m-long Henderson Waves Bridge certainly stands out for its remarkable, undulating design. Standing at 36m above ground, it is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge. To get there, follow the Southern Ridges walking trail - which spans roughly five kilometres, passing through Kent Ridge Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Mount Faber Park.
This spectacular condominium complex adopts an unorthodox configuration, interconnecting and stacking 31 buildings in a hexagonal layout. Designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren, the outstanding architectural gem reimagines the way people use and share living spaces, bringing new meaning to the word, “communal”. It comes as no surprise that The Interlace bagged 'World Building of the Year' at the 2015 World Architecture Festival.
Every nook and cranny of this 40,000 square foot furniture showroom property is an Instagram-worthy spot. The S$50 million multiplex comprises three connected blocks – a traditional white villa, a chic glass building, and a conservation shophouse, each with individual distinct styles and furniture pieces. One thing’s for sure, it definitely makes for a great source of design inspiration for future homeowners.
The Enabling Village, an inclusive community space dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities, features accessible amenities including an outdoor amphitheatre and fitness corners that are wheelchair-friendly, and a ‘naturalised’ landscape with lush greenery and ponds. The 30,000 square-metre facility is a Platinum winner of the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) ‘Universal Design Mark Award’.
Rounding up this list is the iconic Marina Bay Sands, known for their rooftop infinity pool with possibly the most spectacular panoramic view of the Singapore skyline. Also housed on the rooftop are chic dining and entertainment options such as Sky on 57, Spago by Wolfgang Puck, and CÉ LA VI. Architect Moshe Safdie designed not one, but three grand 55-storey towers that slope as steep as 26 degrees as well, making Marina Bay Sands an architectural feat as breath-taking as it is complex.