Explore Singapore’s modern architecture

From rare 70s Brutalist structures to futuristic skyscrapers and luxuriously modern condominiums, Singapore has more than its fair share of architectural masterpieces.

Get up close and personal with some amazing architecture in Singapore. Image credit: iStock
Get up close and personal with some amazing architecture in Singapore. Image credit: iStock

Once a British colonial trading post, today Singapore is a booming financial hub. The city has experienced rapid growth over the last 50 years, both economically and in population. This has produced some of the world’s most cutting-edge structures, as the city uses unique architectural strategies to keep pace with its extreme population growth and rising global status.

If you’re in Singapore on business, then take the time to appreciate and understand the physical fabric of the city and its history. It will help you to better understand the mind of the modern Singaporean businessperson and offer an invaluable leg-up for future business dealings.

The Colonnade

Completed in the 1980s by American architect Paul Rudolph, The Colonnade condominiums are one of Singapore’s most interesting Brutalist structures. The building consists of four rectangular quadrants, hoisted up off the ground at varying heights (giving the building its quirky zigzag appearance).

At the time, Rudolph was experimenting with the ways in which prefabrication could revolutionize the construction of large-scale buildings, and it is understood the intention was to build each quadrant using a series of prefabricated units. Although financial and technical constraints made this impossible, the poured concrete quadrants still mirror the architect’s original vision.

The Colonnade condominiums can be found at 82 Grange Road, Singapore.

Marina One

Marina One is Singapore’s hottest new piece of real estate has already attracted some of the world’s leading companies as leaseholders including Facebook, Mitsubishi, and PwC. Costing an incredible seven billion Singaporean dollars to build, the impressive Marina One is a testament to new Singapore and its status as the “tiger economy” of Asia.

Wander through the lobbies of both the east and west towers, and you can be sure you are in the company of some of the world’s most sought-after business minds.

Marina One can be found at 9 Straits View, Singapore.

The Interlace

The Interlace exterior. Image credit: iStock
The Interlace exterior. Image credit: iStock

Taking out top prize at the 2015 World Architecture Festival, The Interlace is one of Singapore’s trendiest residential buildings, and one of Asia’s most Instagrammed structures.

The condo is made up of 31 apartment blocks, stacked hexagonally atop each other, giving it a precarious, Rubix Cube feel. Gaps between apartments are studded with swimming pools, tennis courts, and lush green spaces, solidifying its status as one of the city’s hippest places to live.

The Interlace can be found on the Corner of Depot and Alexandra Roads, Singapore.

Parkview Square Building

Often referred to as Gotham Tower (for its similarity to Batman’s Gotham City), the Parkview Square Building is a grand and imposing structure, which looms quietly over the hip Kampong Glam and Bugis districts of Singapore.

The building is a testament to the American Art Deco era, with its heavy use of dark granite, bronze, lacquer and glass. It’s rumored to contain some of the most expensive offices in the city, housing the Consulate of Oman, as well as the embassies of Austria and the United Arab Emirates.

Its lobby is home to one of Singapore’s trendiest bars, ATLAS, offering an excellent excuse to grab a drink and relax within its opulently furnished interior.

Parkview Square Building can be found at North Bridge Road, Singapore.

PARKROYAL on Pickering

Often described as more of a garden than a hotel, PARKROYAL on Pickering exemplifies Singapore’s current architectural style, which encourages a lush forest feel within the city’s urban landscape.

The hotel’s many balconies are contoured and graduated, brimming with tropical plants and studded with birdcage cabanas, swimming pools, organic sculptures, and water features.

As a nod to Singapore’s new obsession with eco-design, the hotel’s gardens are self-sustaining through the use of solar cells, rainwater harvesting and water reclamation. Having won multiple prizes for its interior, a walk through the Hotel’s lobby and public areas is a must.

Parkroyal on Pickering can be found at 3 Upper Pickering Road, Singapore.

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands. Image credit: iStock
Marina Bay Sands. Image credit: iStock

Boasting the world’s highest infinity pool and panoramic views of the city, Marina Bay Sands must be Singapore’s most extraordinary landmarks.

The hotel looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, with three arched 55-floor towers connected at the very top by its boat-shaped SkyPark. Only hotel guests can visit its iconic pool area, however non-guests can still access the SkyPark level for a fee – an unbeatable spot to watch the sun set over the city.

Marina Bay Sands can be found at 10 Bayfront Road, Singapore.

For those with a little more time, Singapore has even more to offer architecture enthusiasts. The Brutalist-era Golden Mile Complex, ultra-modern Reflections at Keppel Bay and the botanically inspired Oasia Hotel are all worthy additions to your itinerary.


Grace Catherine

Grace is a freelance writer and digital project manager from New Zealand currently based in Mexico City. She is an avid traveler who loves destinations with an eclectic history, a bike-sharing scheme, and plenty of cool animals.