From condos to hotels and even unconventional mosques, these buildings in Singapore boast impressive architecture.
So you think the pinnacle of Singapore’s architecture is the swanky, mammoth complex of Marina Bay Sands? Think again. The city’s packed to the rafters with beautiful historical places and award-winning architectural wonders. And we don’t just mean the soaring skyscrapers of the CBD. From rare Brutalist buildings to futuristic mosques, we highlight some of the most spectacular architecture in Singapore.
Buildings with unique architecture in Singapore
1. Sky Habitat
This iconic residential development in Bishan deserves a second look whenever you chance upon it. Designed by the same folks who did Marina Bay Sands, the eye-catching condominium is a 3D matrix of two 38-storey blocks linked together by three sky garden bridges. There’s an elevated swimming pool at the uppermost bridge too! The stepped geometry is truly a sight to behold.
Sky Habitat, 7 Bishan Street 15, Singapore 573908
2. The Hive
Who knew a university would have interesting architecture? The Hive at Nanyang Technological University comprises 12 eight-storey towers that taper towards the base and resemble dim sum baskets stacked on top of each other. This eco-friendly learning hub swaps air-conditioning for natural ventilation, with the openings between pods allowing natural air to cool the entire building. Because of its sustainable design, The Hive was awarded the Green Mark Platinum Star Champion by the Building and Construction Authority.
The Hive, Nanyang Technological University, 52 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639816
3. The Interlace
Winner of World Building of the Year at 2015’s World Architecture Festival, the ‘vertical village’ of The Interlace is a dazzling sight to behold, especially against the backdrop of staid HDB blocks. Designed by OMA and Ole Shereen, the upmarket condominium features 31 six-storey apartment blocks stacked hexagonally across each other. Gaps between each house make way for courtyards, swimming pools, tennis courts and leafy roof gardens, making it a highly detailed ‘Rubik’s cube’ of living spaces.
The Interlace, 200 Depot Road, Singapore 109694
4. Reflections at Keppel Bay
Drive into Keppel Harbour and you’ll be mesmerised by the sight of six soaring curved towers. Regarded as the epitome of luxe waterfront living, Reflections at Keppel Bay is a residential masterpiece. Stretching along 1.2km of shoreline, the condominium comprises six curved towers between 24 and 41 stories high and 11 fan-shaped villa apartments. The luminous surfaces of the towers, coupled with their alternating heights, create a dazzling perspective of shifting light planes and airy, light-filled spaces. They’re quite unlike most high-rise buildings in Singapore.
Reflections at Keppel Bay, 1-33 Keppel Bay View, Singapore 098414
5. Hill Street Building
Home to the Ministry of Communications and Information, the six-storey Hill Street Building was once a police station and barracks. Built in the neo-classical style of 1930s England, the colonial landmark boasts a symmetrically designed facade with balconies, arcades, columns and vast courtyards. Since its paint job in 1999, the icon of architecture in Singapore is best known (design-wise) for its rainbow-coloured, double-leafed louvred windows.
Old Hill Street Police Station, #01-01A, 140 Hill Street, Singapore 179369
6. Parkview Square
Batman fans, here’s your chance to live out your superhero fantasies. Resembling a skyscraper from Gotham City, Parkview Square is an otherworldly experience. Clad in granite, bronze, lacquer and glass, the majestic office building located near Bugis MRT station is decked out in a flamboyant Art Deco style, similar to New York’s Chanin Building. Its opulent facade features details you’d be hard pressed to find on the local streetscape. Just take a moment to admire its sculptures of gargoyles, effigies of famous icons and elaborate fountains reminiscent of Piazza San Marco in Venice.
Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778
7. The Colonnade
This one sits away from the glitzy glare of Ion Orchard. The iconic building is an eye-catching condominium tucked into a quiet corner of Singapore. Its unusual columnar architecture is the brainchild of the late Paul Rudolph, who was inspired by the unbuilt Graphic Center of Arts of Manhattan. Divided into four rectangular quadrants, the base of the building is lifted off the ground through two rows of closely-spaced columns. These place the quadrants at differing heights, creating varied floor planes and the renowned, quirky zigzag appearance.
The Colonnade, 82 Grange Road, Singapore 249587
8. Peranakan Museum
Formerly known as the Tao Nan School, which was built in 1912, this Armenian street building later became the Asian Civilisation Museums (ACM). But it was further redeveloped into the Peranakan Museum in 2008 as an extension of the popular Peranakan exhibition at ACM. We can’t get enough of its classic colonial-style exterior! Walking down its street in Singapore is always a treat, with the building shining with its eye-catching facade.
Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941
9. The Mill
Built by the same folks behind Parkview Square, The Mill is an all-black, neo-gothic building that’ll teleport you straight to the streets of Europe. It’s a result of the fusion of influences from post-industrial American architecture. The gothic tower is deemed to be a metaphor for the melting pot of cultures our nation upholds. Want a peek? This attention-grabbing building is nestled in the industrial area of Bukit Merah.
The Mill, 5 Jalan Kilang, Singapore 159405
10. Assyafaah Mosque
Winner of The Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award, this mosque breaks tradition with its futuristic design. New-age architectural elements are paramount. The designer, Tan Hock Hiang of Forum Architects, envisioned the mosque as a welcoming place of worship for non-Malay Muslims and a landmark for our multi-racial city. On its exterior: aluminium facade panels for solar shading to keep the mosque and its worshippers cool. Adorned with eye-catching Arabesque screens, the panels allow air ventilation and delicate shadowplay. While the mosque eschews tradition with its lack of a dome, it features a 10-storey minaret (a tower in which a muezzin who calls Muslims to prayer stands) covered in rusted metal plates for an industrial feel that blends in with the neighbourhood’s surroundings.
Assyafaah Mosque, 1 Admiralty Lane, Singapore 757620
11. The Gateway
Completed in 1990, The Gateway was seen by acclaimed architect I.M. Pei as a welcoming entrance into the heart of Singapore. It’s made up of twin crystalline 37-storey towers, and the shapes of both are trapezoidal. They’re so finely angled that they appear as a single, one-dimensional plane from certain perspectives.
The Gateway, 150 Beach Road, Singapore 189720
12. Parkroyal Collection Pickering, Singapore
Amidst the concrete jungle of the CBD, it stands out like a sore (albeit gorgeous green) thumb with its hotel-in-a-garden concept. Designed by Singapore-based WOHA Architects, the hotel is a gorgeous urban enclave of lush sky gardens, cascading waterfalls, plant-covered terraces, and massive contoured surfaces that make up the dramatic-looking podium.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering, Singapore, 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289
13. Golden Mile Complex
Also known as Singapore’s “Little Thailand”, Golden Mile Complex is a treasure trove of authentic Thai eateries, pubs and occult stores. Despite its rather nondescript interior, its exterior offers an arresting, slightly dystopian display. Built in 1960, the building was a pioneer for Brutalist design. Its shallow, staggered profile was aimed at improving ventilation and providing protective shading. Once considered avant-garde, the landmark remains prominent amongst a sea of generic-looking, monochromatic buildings. It’s all thanks to its typewriter-esque appearance peppered with bright yellow hues. Sadly, the building is now closed and its tenants have vacated after an en-bloc sale in 2022.
Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, Singapore 199588
Time to check out these unique buildings with grand architecture in Singapore!