Spotlight on Singapore’s architecture

Singapore is a small country which has big ideas when it comes to architecture. It is a city where the old and the new contrast yet come together to create a unique landscape. If you’re keen to learn more about Singapore’s iconic and modern architecture, be sure to read on!


What is referred to by most as “The Durian Building”, the Esplanade Theatres on the bay was initially meant to represent a lantern park and look more like an illuminated concrete bubble rather than a spiky durian shape. Its nickname pays tribute to Singapore’s famous love for the durian fruit, which comes across as pungent to tourists but fragrant to Singaporean locals.

The Esplanade comprises a majestic concert hall, chosen in 2014 as one of the 15 most beautiful concert halls in the world in by a Hamburg-based building data company, Emporis. Built with excellent acoustics, audiences are in for a treat as they immerse themselves in gratifying sounds and music while enjoying world-class performances.

Marina One

Unveiled in 2013 by the Malaysian and Singapore Prime Ministers, Marina One is a joint collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore, locked in concrete. This development is currently under construction but is due for completion in Q4 of 2017. Once complete, Marina One will be an iconic hub of luxury residences, prime Grade A office spaces, retail and lifestyle offerings.

Marina One will be an integrated development like no other. It will be adorned with lush greenery and flora, featuring a magnificent “Green Heart” in the center of the development. Additionally, Marina One will also be a “Supergreen” building, where aspects of the development have been designed to use minimum resources and reduce overall energy usage. This not only complements Singapore’s vision of being a garden city, but also Singapore’s practice to contribute to a world that is mindful of its environmental impact. This is a testament to the overarching ideology for construction in Singapore; beauty, efficiency, and progression.

The building’s architect is none other than Christoph Ingenhoven, one of the world’s leading architects in sustainable design. Some of his best-known designs include the RWE headquarters in Essen, one of the world’s first ecological high-rises and the European Investment Bank Building in Luxembourg.

Helix Bridge

Emulating the intricacy of a DNA structure, the Helix Bridge consists of a series of seemingly interwoven structures, shapes and curves. Not only does the bridge link Marina Centre with Marina South, one can also enjoy stunning views of the marina and surrounding architectural achievements while walking on it. The Helix Bridge makes for a perfect picture spot, providing a nice platform to capture shots of Marina Bay Sands up close, in all its grandeur. Vibrant colours of neon green and electric blue from installed multi-coloured diode lights illuminate the bridge at night, injecting bursts of colour in the Marina Bay area.


The name ‘DUO’ holds many layers to its meaning. Firstly, the name literally reflects the two towers at the heart of the project. It also embodies the development’s strategic location which figuratively secures itself as the northern gateway to both the commercial and cultural districts of Singapore. Moreover, the unique design of the towers, being separate-yet-linked, also represents the collaboration of Malaysia and Singapore, which brought this project into existence. The towers are designed by internationally renowned architect, Ole Scheeren, the architect behind the designs of the 2015 ‘World Building of the Year’.

The interesting honeycomb shape mesh of DUO operates as natural shade, alongside its natural glazing which reduces solar heat gain. Moreover, the roof of the building and facilities are covered with immense greenery and flora, which provide additional shading and reduces the warming effect, making it more energy-efficient for DUO’s cooling systems. DUO utilises technology to take full advantage of nature and what it offers in terms of comfortable living and efficiency. The unity of nature and technology is interlocked in every facet of the building and acts as a beacon for other projects to follow suit.