Singapore: the skyline of the garden city designed to be the city of the future
DP Architects, Moshe Safdie,
The Singapore skyline is a contemporary metaphor for dynamism, renewal, architectural quality, colonial charm and the garden city. The Asian city-state is one of today’s most successful examples of a city designed to serve its citizens. Services and infrastructures accompany visitors in discovery of what has been called the city of the future, while an extraordinary skyline offers a fascinating panorama. The city’s lively cultural scene and economy make Singapore the perfect place for admiring futuristic skyscrapers, garden-buildings, tropical parks, ethnic districts and ancient temples, all blended together in an attractive mixture of styles and cultures.
Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie dominates the Singapore skyline. Consisting of 3 towers 55 floors high, the complex has a 200 m long platform at its top with a 150 m long swimming pool that appears to be suspended over the void. It offers the perfect example of spectacular architecture for a designed city, combining hotels, restaurants, a lounge bar, a casino, more than 300 shops, conference halls and meeting-places as well as a theatre and a museum. Every evening visitors are treated to a light and sound show as well as breath-taking views of the skyline over the water.
Recommendation: Go before sunset so you can enjoy the different effects of day and night on the building and the skyline
ArtScience Museum Marina Bay
6 Bayfront Ave
The futuristic city’s ArtScience Museum suspended on a pedestal was also designed by Moshe Safdie. Inspired by the lotus flower, or simply by the palm of an open hand, the building, which is the world's first museum of both art and science and Singapore’s largest privately owned museum, is anchored to a circular central base. Each “finger” contains different spaces and creates highly evocative light effects. The museum contains 21 different exhibition spaces totalling 6,000 square metres of exhibitions about art and science, media and technology, design and architecture.
Recommendation: watch the sunset reflected on the façades of the Singapore skyline.
Marina Bay area
Helix Bridge is a double spiral shaped pedestrian bridge linking the Marina Center with Marina South, designed by an international team including the Australian architects of the Cox Group with Arup and Architects 61 of Singapore. Inspired by the curved shape of the structure of DNA, it has openings all along its 280 m length with views of the Singapore skyline. The structure is made of glass and steel and illuminated by led lights.
Trivia: In the year it was built, 2010, the Helix Bridge was named best “Tranport building” at the World Architecture Festival.
Gardens By the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Dr
Singapore’s new Botanical Garden, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects of London in collaboration with the landscape architects of Grant Associates, is a one-of-a-kind architectural project. Here technology and botanics come together in perfect symbiosis based on the idea of the garden city. The Gardens by the Bay are home to 162,000 plants from all over the world, growing on 101 hectares on the Singapore waterfront. 18 artificial steel trees 50 metres tall produce renewable energy; these Supertrees are covered with ferns, orchids, climbing plants and epiphytes, supporting a technology which reproduces the biochemical process of trees, while rainwater collection systems redistribute water through the irrigation system.
Trivia: Named “World building of the Year “ at the World Architecture Festival, Garden by the Bay is the world’s biggest natural garden.
The Greenhouses at Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Dr
The 2 greenhouses on the Singapore skyline are among the world’s largest glass structures, measuring 16,500 square metres, and the biggest climate-controlled greenhouses ever designed for a garden city. In one of them, the ” Flower Dome”, the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean and tropical countries are reproduced; the other, the “Cloud Forest”, reproduces the tropical climate of the jungle. Wilkinson Eyre Architects opted for hybrid glass structures supported by steel arches. Here the big steel skeleton of the structure forms a space with no pillars containing rainwater reservoirs and pipes which use the heat of the sun to heat water.
Trivia: The climate control system throughout the entire complex uses a thermal unit powered by waste wood.
1 Esplanade Dr.
The Esplanade complex has been called the manifesto of today’s Singapore. Created by DP Architects of Singapore with Michael Wilford&Partners of London, it surrounds two theatres in a double shell of glass. The roof is made of sheets of aluminium at different angles, reproducing the design of natural geometric shapes typical of traditional bamboo weavings.
The complex has made a major contribution to the cultural and theatre scenes in Singapore, and has come to symbolise the city-state’s lively cultural scene.
Recommendation: be sure to see the multi-coloured fountain at the entrance and take a look at the shops around it, offering a selection of books and local artistic and gastronomic creations.
1 Cantonment Rd,
Not far from the city’s lively Chinatown, this immense residential complex is one of the most interesting and successful social housing projects in southeast Asia. The Pinnacle in Singapore, designed by Arc Studio + Urbanism, measures more than 250 thousand square metres and consists of 7 towers linked by large patios on 2 levels. The 163 metre high towers have 51 floors and contain 1848 apartments. The sinuous shape of the complex ensures that the Pinnacle@Duxton offers constantly changing perspectives. The patios were designed as places for leisure time, with race tracks, gym and playground equipment, and a solarium with wonderful views over the city skyline.
Park Royal Hotel on Pickering
3 Upper Pickering St
Singapore architectural studio Woha created and designed a “green heart” for the garden city. Next to the luxuriant Hong Lim Park, the Park Royal Hotel on Pickering is a modern garden of Babylon combining simple rectangular shapes with organic curved forms. The main terrace breaks up a façade in which nature blends with vertical gardens, cascades of tropical leaves, swimming pools, hanging gardens, shrubs, plants and palm trees which form an integral part of the building: a flowing oasis that adds value to the Singapore skyline and makes the hotel a truly unique place.
Trivia: The building has been named a “Green Mark Platinum Building” thanks to its photovoltaic roof and advanced rainwater collection system for regulation of the use of energy and resources.
One Raffles Place Bldg.
After visiting Singapore and enjoying its spectacular skyline, seeing the garden city of the future from above is another unforgettable experience. The best place to do this is the multi-level patio of the 1-Altitude, a lounge bar and restaurant on the rooftop of one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers. At 282 m above sea level, this city hotspot offers a 360° view and a great vantage point for viewing the thousand lights of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks.
Supreme Law Court of Singapore