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The amazing architecture of Singapore

Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world are amazed by the architecture of Singapore. This modern gem located in Southeast Asia surprising for its fusion between tradition and new technologies. Strolling through its avenues flanked by skyscrapers is an experience for those who enjoy the most cosmopolitan life.

The origins of Singapore architecture

The foundations of Singapore’s architecture date back to 1819, date on which the first British settlement was established. The vernacular architecture of that time was based on the kampongthe typical rural houses of the Malays.

These were built on stilts, raised above the ground, to prevent possible flooding. Their roofs were covered with palm leaves and the walls were built with bamboo, in order to add new rooms according to the needs of the family.

The name that most resonates in the history of the city is that of Sir Stamford Raffles. This famous architect was the one who made the final design of the metropolis, in the year 1822, which is still maintained today. It would be Raffles who would specify each area of ​​Singapore, from the areas designated for government offices to the creation of a botanical garden.

However, although Raffles chose to maintain a style of housing closer to Malay architecture, it would be George Drumgoole Coleman, the first architect trained in Singapore itself, who would introduce European-style cement and stucco to the city.

this is when the architectural revolution of Singapore begins, in the middle of the 19th century, and both tendencies begin to hybridize. The two buildings from this period – which can still be seen in the city – are the shop house and the bungalow in black and white. The latter used to be the residences of senior government and military officials.

This evolution would give way to the beginnings of the art decopromoter of the introduction of the technological advances necessary for the construction of large buildings.

Singapore architecture today

As happens with most cities that aspire to be a global benchmark, the Singapore government approved a new plan at the end of the 1990s to promote its particular architecture in order to attract international tourism.

Therefore, after the neoclassical phases, art deco and brutalist —that which was based on the construction of tall buildings—, the city was slightly marked by international architectural trends like postmodernism. Arriving in the 21st century, thanks to high-tech architecture, a new trend began to develop that would eventually give the city its own identity.

It is here when the new architects in Singapore, defenders of the region’s own style due to the warm tropical climate, begin to build minimalist and crystalline buildings to create an environment in accordance with the surroundings.

One of these pioneering architects was Kerry Hill, father of the modern tropical style.which combines vernacular architecture with large, naturally ventilated spaces, typical of Asian culture.

Natural elements have been added to this in recent years, in order to achieve more public green spaces. In fact, several Singaporean designers are internationally acclaimed for pioneering the development of green skyscrapers.

Some of the most amazing buildings in Singapore

Next, we want to highlight some of the most impressive buildings in the city, those that you should not miss during your visit. In fact, many of them are already considered not only icons of the city, but of the country itself.

Marina Bay Sands

Without a doubt, one of the most emblematic is the Marina Bay Sands hotel complex. This has three towers, which exceed 200 meters in height and that they are joined by a structure no less than 340 meters long that covers them like a roof. This risky structure has marked a turning point within the new architectural trends worldwide.

Esplanade Opera Theater

Many citizens have nicknamed this building as the Great Durian, due to its resemblance to a fruit typical of the country. Although its high cost of more than 600 million dollars created great controversy, no one can deny that the Opera House —on the cover— is another of the most representative images of Singapore architecture.

Raffles Hotel

Also worth noting the Hotel Rafles, built at the end of the 19th century and which has been in operation for more than a century. In this luxury hotel it is not uncommon to see great stars of the international scene. Its impeccable façade stands out at first glance.

There is much more to discover in Singapore

Finally, if we still want more, we can take a ride on the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest Ferris wheel, or walk through the ION Sky, one of the most impressive futuristic design shopping centers on the planet. As you can see, Singapore offers many incredible places for lovers of architecture and cities.

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