Who knew Singapore’s MRT stations could be beautiful? Slow down during your daily commute and admire the designs at these train stations.
We’re lucky to be living in Singapore. There are plenty of things to do (even at night), restaurants and cafes to enjoy a meal, and even secret spots to explore. Another thing we truly appreciate? The efficient public transport system – it’s so easy to get from one place to another. Many of us commute daily by train, and though we may not realise it, there are plenty of eye-catching stations to behold. Bet you didn’t know this! So here’s our guide to the most beautiful MRT stations in Singapore and the stories behind them.
The most beautiful MRT stations in Singapore
What do you think of when someone mentions this location? If your reply is the convention and exhibition venue and its weekly shopping and food fairs, you’re not wrong. However, you should admire its train station too. This above-ground station, designed by a British architectural firm, features two shell-shaped sculptural elements. A 40-metre stainless steel dish resembling a UFO, shelters the ticketing area, overlapping a 130-metre blade-like titanium roof which covers the platform level and is supported by twin Y-shaped columns. Expo MRT station won the Singapore Institute of Architects Design Awards 2020 – a testament to its beauty.
Fun fact: it was featured in the K-drama Little Women. A Banquet by Yeo Chee Kiong, an epic 3D artwork depicting two reflective chairs and a speech balloon, can also be spotted at the escalators within the Downtown Line transit area.
Even though you come to this area for concerts and major sporting events, don’t overlook the train station! Its design was inspired by 19th-century European train stations, which are known to be very grand. Did you know that a bridge was originally part of the proposed layout? The local architectural firm returned to the drawing board and ended up with a breathtaking silver canyon. The mesmerising central skylight dramatically lights up the interior, immediately drawing you in as you enter and exit the station. Keep a lookout for the escalator area, which features jewel blue accents.
Like Expo, Stadium MRT station is also a certified award winner, bagging many accolades including Design of the Year at the 2010 President’s Design Award Singapore. Roy Zhang’s The Perfect Moment, a collection of silhouettes gracefully dancing in the air, is displayed above the station’s two entrances.
Redhill is synonymous with “the most beautiful MRT station in Singapore”, and it’s easy to see why. The pastel pink walls make this station the perfect place to take Instaworthy photos, which many people have done. Just line up your camera symmetrically, strike a pose, and click away. Don’t you think it’s also reminiscent of Wes Anderson films? Or perhaps Blackpink’s As If It’s Your Last music video? It’s such an iconic station that it’s even been featured in an American publication!
If you’re not a fan of the colour (gasp), continue your train journey towards Queenstown and Commonwealth, which have sky blue and cheery yellow walls respectively. We’d like to think the Redhill, Queenstown, and Commonwealth MRT stations represent the primary colours on the East-West Line. That’s a nerdy joke for you!
We wouldn’t necessarily call Bencoolen one of the most beautiful; it’s a unique MRT station that’ll leave you marvelling the moment you step foot into it. Did you know Bencoolen currently holds the title of the deepest underground train station in our country? It’s 43 metres below the surface and has six levels! Commuters have to travel down several escalators before they reach the platform level. As you go down, pay close attention to the curved interior walls, which symbolise canyon walls. The earth-tone colours are said to represent the soil’s layers. If you decide to take the elevator, you’ll notice the tinted maroon glass – it’s supposed to make you feel as if you’re descending into our planet’s core. Journey to the centre of the Earth, anyone?
5. Gardens by the Bay
We’re not gonna lie: when the Thomson-East Coast Line was announced, we had high expectations for this station. Now that the line’s finally operating and the station is open, we must say we’re not disappointed. Come through, GBTB MRT station! Let’s talk about the station design. The clamshell roof looks like a combination of the two domes and the supertrees. It also resembles a leaf, if you look hard enough. Be sure to look up when you enter the station – the skylights will mesmerise you. And the double green walls covered with flora and fauna are hard not to notice.
Vertical Submarine, a local art collective, came up with Planting Shadows. The artwork features shadows of tropical plants and highlights the decrease of nature spaces as Singapore continues its urban development. We’re definitely calling this the most beautiful MRT station in Singapore.
6. Bras Basah
Here’s another underground station where much thought has gone into the design. We’re not surprised, since it’s done by the same team that conceptualised Stadium MRT Station. There are a few things about Bras Basah MRT station that we have to spotlight. Firstly, it has the longest escalator in our train network, though it doesn’t compare to Hong Kong’s Central escalator. Regardless, it’ll take you around a minute to get to the platform from the ticketing level!
Of course, we must mention the water covered glass roof, which serves a dual purpose – it acts as a reflection pool on ground level while looking like a huge skylight from underground. Light entering through the roof is projected as surface ripples on the walls, which is very hypnotic to look at as you ascend from the station. Meanwhile, those above ground can also glimpse the trains moving underground through the pool. This is the third MRT station to win multiple honours, including the International Architecture Award back in 2011.
No, we’re not referring to the shabby station on the North-South Line. If you ever find yourself in this part of the country, take a minute to explore Woodlands MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. It’s been designed to reflect the estate’s rubber plantation past, with its brown, grey, and green colour scheme and columns that resemble tree branches. Colourful wooden planks line the interior and passenger walkways, while the ceilings feature orange and brown overtones that add to the station’s nature-like atmosphere. Another thing you should check out? The entrances have transparent structures that let sunlight in and light up during the night – like lanterns! Cool, huh?
8. Marina Bay
Are you shocked? You didn’t read it wrong. Marina Bay MRT station – Exit 2, specifically – is so gorgeously designed that we wished we could hang around the space the whole day. The massive entrance, which is integrated with the park around it, features translucent canopies that let natural light into the underground station. Don’t you think the canopies look like the ones at Clarke Quay? The pools double as a transition area and frame the open voids and skylights as a safety barrier. Mark our words: once the entire area has developed, more people will flock to this train station to take photos.
Cameras at the ready – it’s time to capture Singapore’s most beautiful MRT stations.