Singapore is a city chock full of awesome architecture. You have futuristic skyscrapers next to old colonial buildings showcasing a mix of new and old. Singapore is an interesting city as it offers Western luxury with the cultural influences of Southeast Asia. Below, the best Singapore architecture is highlighted and are must-see’s on your visit to one of Asia’s most modern cities.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
The Esplanade is a world-class performing arts center with over 7,000 glass sunshades. The bold design of the Esplanade is either loved or hated by local Singaporeans. How could you not love this strange and unique twin structure design? With it’s funky design, it complements the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer nearby. The Esplanade is the place to go for theater in Singapore. Whether you fancy an outdoor Shakespeare performance, an elegant ballet, or an eclectic art exhibit, this is the place to be.
Tip: The performing arts center is also surrounded by numerous restaurants, cafes and shops that are great to visit before or after a show.
Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay are hard to miss. Hugging Marina Bay, this 101-hectacre lot is home to the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. These two structures are massive greenhouses and are the world’s largest greenhouses unsupported by any pillar or column. If you are a plant lover, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are a must-visit. The Flower Dome replicates the environment of regions like California and South Africa while the Cloud Forest houses the world’s largest indoor waterfall.
The massive Supertrees are hard to miss if you’re in the area. These structures collect rainwater and generate solar power!
Tip: Come by at night as the Supertrees light up the sky with a dazzling light and sound show. Try catching the show from the OCBC Skyway nearby, providing a bird’s eye view of the park.
The most famous hotel in Singapore, this building is the essence of colonialism on this island state. Raffles Singapore opened in 1887 and was named after Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles. Although the hotel has remained open for nearly 130 years, many designers have made changes to the structure over the years, including some neo-Renaissance touches. Today, this hotel is an elegant, historical masterpiece that continues to draw travelers from around the world.
CHIJMES (pronounced ‘chimes’) is an area of restaurants and bars surrounded by marble waterfalls, green courtyards and neoclassical buildings. The property was bought from a prominent colonial architect in 1853 by Father Beurel, who built the school for girls. The complex also used to house an orphanage which is evidenced by The Gate of Hope, where unwanted babies were left for the nuns to take care of. Today, the campus has a special ambiance with sprawling green lawns, offering a relaxing getaway from the bustling city.
Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is located in the Kampong Glam district and was named after a wealthy businesswoman who donated the land for the mosque to be built. The architecture of the mosque has a mix of European, Malay and Chinese influences. The mosque was erected in 1864 under Malay influence, with an onion-shaped dome. Chinese influence is evidenced in the glazed porcelain tiles on the windows and woodwork. European influences show up on the minaret, with its three-tiers, two octagonal towers and an elongated pyramid which is often compared to St. Andrew’s Church, built in the colonial-era. The minaret has started to tilt over the years due to its sandy foundation, causing visitors to call it ‘the leaning tower of Singapore’.
Marina Bay Sands
Last, but not least, we have the architectural masterpiece of Marina Bay Sands. First off, this ultra-modern hotel and casino has a 500ft infinity pool that sits on top of three 55-story towers. The Marina Bay Sands sits right on the bay and includes a 1.3 million square foot convention center, 800,000 square feet of shops, two large theaters, a museum, seven restaurants, two floating crystal pavilions, a skating rink and the world’s largest atrium casino! The complex also has a 1,120 foot skypark. You could spend a day getting lost at the Marina Bay Sands resort and awing at its beauty.