25 Super Cool Buildings in Singapore You Might Not Know About

25 Super Cool Buildings in Singapore You Might Not Know About

Expect architectural wonders, futuristic designs, and panoramic views!

Many people think that there is not much to go on about when it comes to architecture in Singapore. Sure, there are a few cool buildings in Singapore, such as the iconic Esplanade (or Durian building, as it is so affectionately termed) and the Marina Bay Sands Towers. Perhaps the Art Science Museum could count as one, too.

All in all, there’s really nothing much to shout about, right? Wrong! Did you know that quite a few architectural gems pepper this tiny island? Scroll on to find out!

Cool school campus buildings in Singapore

1. The Hive, Nanyang Technological University

Aptly named The Hive, this building nestled in the campus of Nanyang Technological University is designed to be an alternative campus space that resembles a beehive. This parallels the motto of encouraging a “cross-pollination” of ideas between students.

The Hive also happens to be the first recipient of the Green Mark Platinum Star Champion award by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), which is the highest accolade in Singapore for outstanding commitment to sustainable design. The main eco-friendly characteristic stems from its unique ventilation concept, which swaps air-conditioning for natural ventilation as openings between pods are designed for natural ventilation to the atrium, corridors, staircases, and lift lobbies.

Address: 52 Nanyang Ave, Singapore 639816

2. School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University

If you think that The Hive is the only cool campus building in Nanyang Technological University, you haven’t seen the university’s Art, Design and Media (ADM) building! The ADM school consists of three intertwining blocks that interweave to enclose a plaza, and it also features a completely verdant turfed roof. 

Within this architectural wonder lies classrooms, a library, and other design studios for the use of the art, design, and media students. This building makes one cool classroom for sure!

Address: 81 Nanyang Dr, Singapore 637458

Cool residential buildings in Singapore

3. The Interlace, Bukit Merah

The Interlace is a condominium in Singapore that has won multiple awards for its architectural splendour. It features 31 blocks of apartments stacked (or laced, if you will) in a hexagonal arrangement. Notable awards include World Building of The Year in 2015 and the Urban Habitat Award in 2014.

Its design ensures that nearly every apartment has a wide panoramic view of the surrounding areas and guess what? There’s a water park within the condominium itself! Forget regular swimming pools, this place even has a spa valley! How cool is that?

Address: 194 Depot Rd, Singapore 109691

4. [email protected], Queenstown

Due to its clever design, homes at [email protected] are column- and beam-free so that spaces can be easily changed and customised. Here, you will find that sky terraces replace traditional void decks, taking public housing in Singapore to a whole new level (pun not intended).

[email protected] is also an eco-friendly building, built with 12 sky gardens and a roof garden on the 47th floor (which includes a 400m jogging track, too!). Common areas, lift lobbies, and access walkways are all naturally ventilated while solar cells are used to power the rooftop power lights.

Address: 86 Dawson Rd, Singapore 141086

5. [email protected], Queenstown

Across the road from [email protected] is [email protected], which is another cool HDB we’d all want to live in. Sporting a design that seems inspired by a game of Tetris or perhaps Lego blocks, this building sure is a stunning piece of architecture.

Some of the houses here consist of a four or five-room flat being connected to a studio apartment via the stairs and an internal door. Following [email protected], the building also focuses on being eco-friendly with numerous sky gardens; over 70% of the property is covered in greenery!

Address: 90 Dawson Rd, Singapore 142090

6. Eco Sanctuary, Bukit Panjang

Boasting an ecology-inspired concept, the Eco Sanctuary at Bukit Panjang has a building structure that mimics a honeycomb, with hexagon fixtures framing the surface of each building.

Also read: 12 Perfect Spots to Catch The Sunset in Singapore

Apart from having a decorative function, the hexagonal facade also has a “wind-catching” purpose in order to maximise ventilation through the building.

Eco Sanctuary has two viewing decks (that were inspired by bird’s nests), where residents can enjoy a 270° view of their surroundings and a “Sky Walk” that links all three towers together!

Address: 65 Chestnut Ave, Singapore 679524

7. Tree House, Bukit Panjang

Did you know that Tree House is the world’s largest vertical garden? Yes, the 24-storey eco-friendly condominium in Bukit Panjang got itself a place in the Guinness World Records 2014 for its unique design and sheer size. The vertical garden reduces the estate’s carbon footprint by lowering energy needed to cool indoor spaces, while other green facilities include heat-reducing windows and motion sensor-activated lights in public areas.

Besides the usual recreational swimming pool, Tree House even has a rain spa, plunge pool, and aqua gym!

Address: 60 Chestnut Ave, Singapore 679517

8. The Marq, Paterson Hill

Check out the ultimate luxury big ticket item to put on your wishlist! The Marq on Paterson Hill is the first-ever luxury apartment building fully decorated by Hermes, the luxury fashion company. With Hermes furniture, furnishing fabrics, and decor like carpets and tableware along with art pieces, to say that this building is truly a work of art in itself would be an understatement.

Unapologetic of its extravagance, The Marq is also furnished with a 15-metre private lap pool cantilevered over the city skyline for each unit within The Signature Tower. Imagine that! A building with a pool on every floor where you can just go for a dip anytime! Can you say #housinggoals?

Address: 8A Paterson Hill, Singapore 238568

9. [email protected], Tanjong Pagar

The [email protected] is another award-winning building in Singapore that will surely wow your socks off. This series of public housing buildings feature the world’s two longest skybridges (complete with jogging track and sky garden) on both the 26th and 50th floors which connect all seven towers together.

If you’re pining for an opportunity to enjoy the scenic, panoramic view for yourself then you’ll be delighted to know that the sky garden on the 50th floor is open to the public for a small fee of $6; or you can try to find a friend who stays there to sneak you in for free!

Address: 1G Cantonment Rd, Singapore 085301

10. Ferrell Residences, Bukit Timah

Have you seen this squiggly-edged layered building in Singapore before? When it comes to a whimsical, unorthodox design, Ferrell Residences definitely fits the bill. Designed to mimic two symmetrical figures extending skyward in a “sensual silhouette,” it’s certainly an architectural structure that you don’t see around every day!

There are only two units per level at Ferrell Residences. Full-height windows on each side of the apartment bring in more light and air in addition to 270° views. For instance, a sky terrace, jet pool, sp,  and jacuzzi are some of the fancy amenities that add to this unique building as well.

Address: 327 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 259715

Cool retail mall buildings in Singapore

11. Funan

Tech junkies and those with artistic flare are going to be thrilled with this architectural masterpiece! Home to over 190 brands, this mall is an edgy combination of industrial chic aesthetic and flamboyance. The interiors and exteriors of this mall are quite futuristic in appearance, while exuding themes that include, tech, art, craft, fit, and taste.

There are several eye-catching and vibrant spaces in the mall like a seven-storey green wall, the Kinetic Wall, the Tree of Life, and even an urban farm on the rooftop. Funan is indeed a great new building in Singapore to capture some great photographs and enjoy a unique shopping experience.

Address: 107 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 179105

Cool heritage buildings in Singapore

12. CHIJMES

chijmes

Image credit: Yolanda Poh

Located at the junction of Victoria Street and Bras Basah Road is the beautiful CHIJMES building. Built in 1840, CHIJMES has its history as a Catholic convent, known as the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ). Fast forward more than a century later (to 1996), and CHIJMES was restored to be the commercial complex we know it to be today!

With al fresco restaurants and cafes aplenty, CHIJMES is perhaps most famous for being the filming location of the wedding scene from Crazy Rich Asians! And of course, we can see why CHIJMES has received such recognition — just take a look at its lawn bound with fairy lights and impressive colonial architecture. Starkly contrasting the modern skyscrapers that populate Singapore today, CHIJMES is truly a sight to behold!

Address: 30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996

13. Capitol Theatre

capitol piazza

(L-R): Capitol Theatre neon sign; row of shops along Capitol Singapore’s exterior | Image credit (L-R): Ivan Yeo; Jian Lin Leong

Situated within the conservation building of Capitol Singapore is the Capitol Theatre. Following its debut in 1929, Capitol Theatre was one of Singapores finest theatres in its heyday! The theatre borrows its architectural inspiration from neoclassical influences and the neon lights of the Roxy Theatre in New York, United States.

heritage buildings singapore

(L-R): Capitol Singapore in 1981; Capitol Singapore in 2021 | Image credit (L-R): Jay Phagan; Kharl Anthony Paica

Over the years, trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques have opened up in the premises. If you wish to catch a glimpse of the past and present under one roof, head on over to Capitol Singapore for a truly unique experience.

Address: 17 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178907

14. Potato Head Singapore

potato head singapore

Image credit: Keane Chua

Home to the famous Three Buns burger franchise, Potato Head Singapore in Outram Park is a building thatll definitely catch your eye. Located at the intersection of Teck Lim Road and Keong Saik Road, this iconic heritage building stands against the majestic view of the [email protected] building (see #9).

If you ever think of dining here, wed recommend heading on to the rooftop bar. While your evening away with al fresco dining of fairy lights, a cocktail in hand, and views of Singapores Tanjong Pagar area. But of course, the interior dining is pretty impressive, too! Just take a look at the graffiti-inspired art that paints its walls.

Address: 36 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089143

Also read: The Most Scenic Beach Bars in Singapore

15. Tudor Court Shopping Gallery

If you were thinking that this might be somewhere in the English countrysides of Surrey, think again! Tudor Court Shopping Gallery is, in fact, located in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district, Orchard Road.

Tudor Court has quite the interesting back story. In the early 1900s, many houses in Tanglin and nearby Nassim Road were built in a “black and white” Elizabethan style. For instance, these houses had white plastered walls framed by dark timber beams. Tudor Court, built in the 1920s to serve as quarters for civil servants, is an example of this colonial-era architectural style.

Subsequently, in 2005, Tudor Court was conserved by the former Singapore Tourism Promotion Board (now Singapore Tourism Board) to rebrand the Orchard Road area as the tourist belt that we know today.

Address: 131 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247924

Also read: What Did Singapore Look Like Before Its Glitzy Attractions Came Along?

16. Restaurants in Seletar Aerospace Park: Wheelers Estate, Wildseed Cafe & Bar at The Summerhouse, and more

In recent years, Seletar Aerospace Park has gained popularity as a hidden dining oasis amidst a general aviation airport for chartered flights and training purposes. Whats unique, however, is that the restaurants here have been repurposed from former colonial houses built in 1923!

If youve ever dined at any of Seletar Aerospace Parks iconic restaurants, you mightve noticed a uniformity in the architecture of all the restaurants; these black and white bungalows were built to house a Royal Air Force (RAF) station that served Singapore from 1928 to 1971. This area where you can experience a glimpse into Singapore’s colonial past while dining in a fancy and lush restaurant is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Address: 2 Park Lane Singapore 798386 Park Ln, Singapore 798386

Also read: 5 Scenic Driving Routes in Singapore to Get Away From It All

17. The Red House

Quite fittingly and simply known as The Red House, this iconic red building in Katong is an integrated heritage development composed of distinctive residences, as well as the Micro bakery & kitchen. The Red House was first constructed in the 1920s and housed the former Katong Bakery & Confectionary, affectionately known as the Red House Bakery!

The Red House Lofts sitting above indeed provide a unique living experience. Imagine living above the most celebrated iconic building in Katong that pays homage to Peranakan and Eurasian heritage!

Address: 63 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428776

Cool state buildings in Singapore

18. Ministry of Communications and Information

One of the most Instagrammable spots around, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) building in Singapore is one that you mightve spotted if youve ever walked around the Clarke Quay area. Significant for its colourful windows, the MCI building used to house the Old Hill Street Police Station, but was repainted in 1997 to create a more vibrant facade.

Now, the MCI building functions as the headquarters overseeing the development of cybersecurity, national library, and national archives as well as the government’s information and public communication policies.

Address: 140 Hill Street, Old Hill Street Police Station, 179369

19. Central Fire Station

central fire station

Image credit: Craig Stanfill

Located a five-minute walk away from the MCI building (see #18) is the Central Fire Station building in Singapore. This historic fire station certainly stands out in the City Hall area; just take a look at its brickwork and colonial architecture!

buildings in singapore

Image credit: chinnian

Theres even an attached museum, known as the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, which displays firetrucks, plus firefighting and rescue equipment. Next time youre in the area, why not take a step inside to learn more about a profession that not many of us can get a glimpse into?

Address: 62 Hill St, Singapore 179367

20. Parkview Square

gotham building in singapore

Image credit (L-R): jipe7; Steven Lasry

Did you know that Parkview Square is actually an office building? Better known Singapores very own Gotham building (one glance at it and you might get why, too), Parkview Square houses one of the tallest bars in Singapore known as Atlas Bar! Truly one of a kind, this floor-to-ceiling bar looks straight out of The Great Gatsby and will certainly mesmerise you the moment you step through its doors.

Before you even enter the premises, try and snap a picture of Parkview Square in its entirety as you stand at its base near the entrance. However, be careful not to hope strain your neck too much just like us when we tried to do just that!

Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188778

Cool hotel buildings in Singapore

21. PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore

Standing amidst conventional monotonous skyscrapers in Singapores CBD is the garden and nature-inspired Parkroyal on Pickering Singapore five-star hotel! With plants lining every nook and cranny of the building, its no wonder that this fabulous hotel is leading the game in being one of Singapores iconic hotel-in-a-garden.

buildings in singapore

Image credit (L-R): Charly W. Karl; Korie Cull

Address: 3 Upper Pickering St, Singapore 058289

22. Oasia Hotel Downtown

Oasia Hotel Downtown is located in the Tanjong Pagar district, and stands tall and proud amidst Singapores very own Koreatown! Above all, it is the prominent red facade complete with green fixtures that makes it very easy to spot from afar. Even if youre not planning to book a stay at Oasia Hotel Downtown, there are a selection of restaurants on its first floor that are free for anyone to dine in (our favourite is a gin bar called CIN CIN)!

Address: 100 Peck Seah St, Singapore 079333 

23. Raffles Singapore

Opened in 1887, Raffles Singapore was named after Singapores founder, Sir Stamford Raffles. The hotel was built by the Sarkies Brothers, who were responsible for other luxury hotels in the region during the colonial era.

While walking past the hotel, you might be able to identify Raffles Singapore by its palm tree-lined driveway and neo-Renaissance architectural influences. On the other hand, you mightve even spotted the hotels Sikh doormen, dressed in recognisable white turbans!

Address: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

24. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

You mightve seen a glance of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore in most pictures of Singapores skyline; no, were not talking about the Marina Bay Sands (which, yes, is a magnificent sight on its own) but Singapores very own waterfront hotel! Set in a former post office built in 1928, this Singapore hotel building is just one of many iconic attractions to grace the Singapore River waterfront.

After your dinner in the area, take a stroll along the waterfront. Meanwhile, enjoy the elegant beauty as the Fullerton Hotel illuminates the Singapore River after nightfall.

Address: 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178

25. JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach

Balancing historic heritage with contemporary style, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach offers unrivalled luxury in the downtown Singapore city centre. JW Marriott is also situated right next to South Beach, which is a commercial space that likewise, boasts an aesthetic mix between history and contemporary. Why not head on over for your next evening dinner out and choose from South Beachs trendy restaurants and bars. After that, enjoy a walk around the area.

Address: 30 Beach Road, Nicoll Hwy, 189763

And there you have it — 25 really cool buildings in Singapore that you can explore if youre craving an adventure within our tiny island! They may not rival the Eiffel in Paris or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but you can’t deny the fact that these buildings are a refreshing sight to the endless HDB buildings or skyscrapers in Singapore.

How many of these Singapore buildings have you actually spotted before?

About Authors

Beatrice Tan
Beatrice Tan

Beatrice absolutely loves stargazing and often fantasises about going into space one day. However, since she won’t be an astronaut anytime soon, her heart is set on being a globetrotter instead. She is always craving for a new adventure, and believes that travel nourishes the soul. You can most likely find her strolling around the museum, or in a quiet café with her nose buried in a book, and a soy latte in hand.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Beatrice Tan

Cassandra Nerva
Cassandra Nerva

Cassandra seeks comfort in warm blankets, period dramas, and all things hazelnut. If she's not getting carried away with a wartime novel or decorating her house with plants & fairy lights, she's uncovering hidden gems around her as she continues to embrace her keen sense of adventure.

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