This month's edition of Instagrammable locations casts the spotlight on Bras Basah and Bugis - Rochor Centre, Singapore Art Museum and more
If you’re a history or an art junkie, you’d be no stranger to the Bras Basah-Bugis district. The precinct boasts a trinity of arts, heritage and culture, and it’s home to the city’s most notable museums, art schools and religious sites. For this month’s edition of Singapore’s most Instagrammable locations, we sussed out the area for the most photo-worthy spots. Get those street-style outfits and phones charged – let’s get exploring!
It’s hard to miss these iconic colourful HDB flats in Bugis. Kitted out in bright colours of red, yellow, green and blue, the centre dates back to 1977 and is a neighbourhood institution. In its heyday, the formerly buzzy cluster housed old-school retail stores, eclectic small businesses and even offices. Its demolition due to development plans is slated for year-end, so seize the time now to explore it before it disappears. Most of its residents have vacated the area, leaving plenty of abandoned and destroyed furniture – can you say photo opp?
Rochor Centre, 1 Rochor Road, Singapore 180001.
Albert Centre Market and Food Centre
Travel back in time at this hawker haven located in the district’s mini Chinatown. The first floor is home to bustling food stalls, while the third is mostly made up of dried goods suppliers. Swing by on a Monday if you’re looking to photograph deserted corridors, as that’s when shop-owners take a day’s break from the biz.
Albert Centre Market and Food Centre, 270 Queen Street, Singapore 180270.
LASALLE College of the Arts
It comes as no surprise that LASALLE’s so photo-worthy – the arts school regularly pushes the envelope when it comes to creativity and always comes out on top. The design of the award-winning campus is inspired by geology: six oddly sculpted buildings with corridors and bridges make up its centre, and prominently feature angled glass windows.
LASALLE College of the Arts, 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940.
Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum is a must-visit for anyone in the precinct. Aside from housing groundbreaking artworks and fascinating exhibitions, the former home to St Joseph’s Institution boasts a mish-mash of gorgeous tiles and stunning architecture (particularly in its courtyard).
Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555.
Photography enthusiasts need to check out this independent art space ASAP. Made up of 19 repurposed shipping containers, the space celebrates photography with two galleries, a resource library and an activity area. Other times, DECK also doubles up as a hipster hangout for public markets like ones held by The Local People.
DECK, 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore 187937.
The landscape in Singapore can be pretty sterile, so it’s always a pleasure to uncover street art here. One of our fave jaw-dropping works has got to be the mural located behind Nanyang Fine Arts Academy. It’s not clear who the artist behind this beaut is, but the combination of bold graphics, bizarre monsters and curved letterforms makes this one a truly eye-catching piece.
Getting there: From Bugis MRT station, walk towards Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. At the back of the arts school near to Artichoke (161 Middle Road), you’ll find the graffiti mural nestled in a corner.
Don’t dismiss Waterloo Centre as Bras Basah’s clone; while it boasts similar architecture to its old-school counterpart, the former is more of an arts hub and plays host to art exhibitions and performances. Take to the rooftop for a gritty backdrop or stick to the staircases if you’re keen on playing on lines and shapes.
Waterloo Centre, 261 Waterloo Street, Singapore 180261.
Nowhere in Singapore is quite like this historic building complex. Popular amongst lovebirds for its stunning Hall (a restored 19th century chapel) and foodies for its fab restaurants and bars, its incredible architecture is repeatedly seen in its ornate pillars, multi-coloured terazzo tiles, and spiral staircases.
CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996.
National Museum Singapore
It’s frankly tricky to make a frequently photographed location seem new again. For fresher perspectives, switch up your vantage points or angles. Tip: Take the time to scout the area for the best photo opps, but do steer clear of the exhibits and stick to public spaces.
National Museum Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897.