10 well-known buildings in Singapore

Written by Forrest Brown, CNN

Whether or not you are a pupil of structure or an informal admirer of attention-grabbing buildings, Singapore is an observational hothouse (to associate with its tropical local weather).

Town-state’s buildings characterize a fascinating mixture of Asian, British colonial and trendy world influences.

“Singapore has its fair proportion of iconic buildings, particularly (these constructed) within the ’90s and 2000s, which have contributed to a skyline that’s distinctive from different Asian cities,” mentioned Chong Keng Hua, affiliate professor of structure and sustainable design on the Singapore College of Know-how and Design.

“It is by no means easy to label Singapore structure beneath a selected type … If there are constant inventive forces underlying its evolution, these can be our response to our tropical local weather and area constraints.”

Sustainability is one other theme displaying up within the combine, Chong mentioned.

“The juxtaposition of futuristic, high-rise inexperienced buildings with post-independence (after 1965) trendy complexes and older colonial buildings and shophouses provides Singapore’s city panorama a novel identification and expertise,” he added.

Listed here are 10 of Singapore’s most well-known buildings, representing its previous, current and future.

Raffles Lodge

Opened: Opened in 1887 (as a 10-room bungalow)
Architect: Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan & Maclaren (predominant constructing, 1899)
Use: Lodge

The grande dame of well-known Singapore buildings has considerably modest beginnings.

Within the late 1880s, the Armenian Sarkies brothers leased a bungalow owned by an Arab dealer. They named it after British colonizer Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and began out with simply 10 rooms for his or her company. It did not keep modest for lengthy.

From the opening a brand new three-story predominant constructing in 1899 to an enormous overhaul in 2019 (and quite a few makeovers in between), Raffles Lodge has develop into the signature instance of colonial structure in Singapore. Its white exterior and neo-Renaissance design consists of tropical requirements reminiscent of excessive ceilings and in depth verandas.
“Raffles Lodge is well-known for its historical past and opulent atmosphere,” Chong mentioned. “Enjoyable truth: That is additionally the place the well-known cocktail Singapore Sling was invented.”

Jewel at Changi Airport

Inside Singapore’s new Jewel Changi Airport

Opened: 2019
Architect: Moshe Safdie
Use: Leisure and retail advanced

We go from an old-school colonial basic to the latest constructing on the checklist: Jewel at Changi Airport.

From the fertile thoughts of architect Moshe Safdie, the constructing is spectacular each inside and outside. The outside takes the type of a dramatic doughnut form framed in glass and metal. The inside, in the meantime, nods to nature with a hedge maze, glass-bottomed cover bridge and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, often known as the Rain Vortex.

Additionally discovered contained in the 10-story constructing (5 under floor, 5 above) are leisure venues, retailers, eating places, a resort and providers for airline passengers, reminiscent of early check-in, baggage storage and connections to 3 of the airport’s terminals.

“Jewel has redefined airport, retail and public area all of sudden,” Chong mentioned. “It creates a huge effect in making Changi Airport essentially the most recognizable — and possibly essentially the most Instagrammable — airport on the earth.”

Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay

Opened: 2002
Architect: DP Architects and Michael Wilford & Companions
Use: Leisure advanced

You may know Esplanade by its casual identify: “The Durian.” That is as a result of the theater’s twin glass domes — created from greater than 7,00zero triangular aluminum sunshades — bear a putting resemblance to 2 halves of a durian, a strong-smelling fruit well-liked within the area.

Chong says the constructing’s signature spiky facade wasn’t a part of the unique design.

“It was initially conceived as two glass shells with out shading, which drew a lot criticism for its insensitivity to the tropical local weather, as it will create a greenhouse impact.” Thus, the long-lasting shades.

The constructing could also be well-known, however that does not imply the design is universally liked. Since opening in 2002, Esplanade has been given numerous different nicknames, some not so flattering. Beloved or berated, nevertheless, it is an plain a part of Singapore’s city identification.

Marina Bay Sands

Diving into the daybreak with Moshe Safdie

Opened: 2010
Architect: Moshe Safdie
Use: Lodge, on line casino and mall

Marina Bay Sands is one other notable Singapore challenge from architect Moshe Safdie. The resort has develop into a signature a part of town’s skyline, instantly recognized by its three towers and cantilevered sky backyard, which hosts the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool (take a look at the video above to see what it is prefer to swim there).

“To me, that is extra of an city challenge than an architectural challenge, because it has remodeled each the waterfront and downtown skyline,” Chong mentioned.

Nationwide Gallery Singapore

Opened: 2015
Architect: StudioMilou and CPG Consultants
Use: Artwork museum

The Nationwide Gallery is a microcosm of what the city-state does greatest — mix the previous with the brand new. On this case, the Metropolis Corridor and Supreme Court docket buildings have been remodeled into Singapore’s premiere artwork museum.

The neo-classical Metropolis Corridor first opened its doorways in 1929, and the Supreme Court docket constructing got here alongside a decade later. Vital components of the buildings had been preserved — together with the chamber the place the Japanese surrendered to the British on the finish of World Struggle II — so guests can take of their historic significance as they discover a formidable assortment of Southeast Asian artwork.

Chong mentioned “the result’s easy but elegant.”

Sri Mariamman Temple

Opened: 1827 (then often known as Mariamman Kovil or Kling Chapel)
Use: Place of worship

No checklist of Singapore buildings is full with out illustration from the myriad religions which have discovered a foothold right here.

Chief amongst them is the ornate Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore (and the oldest constructing on this checklist).
Though first opened in 1827, a lot of the current construction courting again to the 1860s. It was constructed by craftsmen from South India and is devoted to the goddess Mariamman, who is understood for her healing powers.

One of many constructing’s most excellent architectural options is its “gopuram” (entrance tower). The extremely ornamented tower, festooned with colourful figures, is a well known landmark in Singapore’s Chinatown.


Opened: 1840-41
Architect: George Drumgoole Coleman
Use: Eating and nightlife venue

As is the case with many older buildings, the aim of CHIJMES — which is pronounced “chimes” — has developed over time.

The oldest constructing within the advanced is Caldwell Home, which later grew to become a Catholic convent for ladies (the identify CHIJMES pertains to its identify, Convent of the Holy Toddler Jesus Center Schooling College). It’s now a peaceable oasis by day and a bustling leisure heart at night time.

However the standout construction is the advanced’s Gothic chapel, which includes a five-story spire and flying buttresses. The construction’s 648 columns function carvings of tropical crops and birds, whereas inside, a dazzling white chapel could be reserved for weddings. Together with different entries on this checklist, you might have seen this constructing within the 2018 film “Loopy Wealthy Asians.”

Fullerton Lodge Singapore

Opened: 1928 (as web site of Singapore’s Normal Submit Workplace)
Architect: Main Percy Hubert Keys and Frank Dowdeswell
Use: Lodge

Here is one other spectacular instance of Singapore renovating previous buildings. What’s now the location of a luxurious resort was as soon as a fort named after Robert Fullerton, the primary governor of the Straits Settlements (a gaggle of British territories). Fort Fullerton was torn down within the late 1870s and changed with the Alternate Constructing. It, too, is gone.

The Alternate was changed by the Fullerton Constructing in 1928, which served because the Normal Submit Workplace. Myriad different makes use of adopted, together with its higher flooring offering a house for the unique Singapore Membership.

The beautiful grey granite neoclassical constructing wasn’t used as a resort till 2001, earlier than which it sat empty for years.

Victoria Theatre and Live performance Corridor

Opened: 1862 (theater constructing) and 1905 (live performance corridor constructing)
Architect: John Bennett (theater constructing) and Regent Alfred John Bidwell of Swan & Maclaren (live performance corridor constructing)
Present use: Theater and live performance corridor

Set within the Civic District, the neoclassical Victoria Theatre (614 seats) and Live performance Corridor (673 seats) are among the many most illustrious venues in Singapore, and the constructing is notable for its iconic clock tower.
The theater began out because the City Corridor and was one of many first buildings of Singapore’s Victorian Revivalism period. The live performance corridor, in the meantime, started life because the Victoria Memorial Corridor in 1905, named after the British monarch who had died lower than 5 years prior.

Again in 2010, this nationwide monument was closed for a four-year, $158 million Singapore ($116 million) makeover to revive its neoclassical facade and to put in state-of-the artwork amenities, in accordance with the theater. It reopened with an enormous splash in 2014.

The Interlace

Accomplished: 2013
Architect: Workplace for Metropolitan Structure (OMA) and Buro Ole Scheeren
Use: Residences

Organized round eight courtyards, The Interlace is a particular residential advanced shaped of 31 stacked residence blocks

Chatting with CNN in 2016, when the construction was named World Constructing of the Yr, one of many architects concerned within the challenge, Eric Chang, mentioned: “Our predominant thought was the best way to conceptualize one thing that is extra of a vertical village than actually a constructing for housing.”

5 bonus buildings

The Pinnacle@Duxton is a public housing estate in the Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore.

The Pinnacle@Duxton is a public housing property within the Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore. Credit score: Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Bloomberg through Getty Photographs

  • Pinnacle @Duxton: This 50-story tower is the main instance of Singapore’s groundbreaking method to residential buildings, in accordance with Chong, who famous that “the distinctive architectural design was a results of worldwide competitors that attracted greater than 200 entries.”
  • Kampung Admiralty: Accomplished in 2017, the housing advanced for senior residents includes a medical facility, pharmacy, neighborhood backyard and extra. It was named 2018’s World Constructing of the Yr on the World Structure Competition. This challenge “signifies a world shift from iconic structure to 1 that’s accountable and socially significant,” Chong mentioned.
  • Robinson Tower: Extra timber, please. This eco-friendly constructing within the Central Enterprise District goals to create the “sustainable urbanism” that has develop into one in every of Singapore’s calling playing cards. The tower’s gravity-defying higher part seems to drift above a verdant backyard terrace.
The Golden Mile Complex (forefront right) The Golden Mile Tower stand along the Nicoll Highway in front of other buildings in Singapore.

The Golden Mile Advanced (forefront proper) The Golden Mile Tower stand alongside the Nicoll Freeway in entrance of different buildings in Singapore. Credit score: Darren Soh/Bloomberg/Getty Photographs

  • Golden Mile Advanced: Resembling a typewriter, this constructing is “most likely essentially the most daring mixed-use architectural design in 1970s,” Chong mentioned, including: “The dramatically terraced Brutalist constructing was initially imagined to be a prototype of an city type, which may have been the blueprint for the whole tropical metropolis.”
  • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum: Opened in 2007, this five-story temple is a superb place to expertise the affect of Buddhist tradition in Singapore. The constructing, positioned in Chinatown, displays the architectural type of China’s Tang dynasty.

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