20 coolest buildings in Singapore.


I saw several Youtube videos of people listing their most favourite, coolest or iconic buildings in Singapore just now and it escalates my interest to compile a list of my own too. I have been staying in Singapore for about a year now and I’m really fascinated with some amazing buildings over here. Singapore do really know how to build icons with impressive design and architecture. After a bit of research, here are the 20 coolest buildings in Singapore (based on my personal view). I have visited 13 of them so far and I planned to visit the rest soon. (the list here is not in particular order).

1 – Marina Bay Sands

Quick info: An integrated resort of three hotel towers topped with 340m long SkyPark, casino, shopping mall, Art & Science Museum, Helix Bridge and convention centre. It was billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost during its opening.

Architect: Moshe Safdie

Year opened: 2010

2 – Reflections at Keppel Bay

Quick info: A residential complex of 6 sleek curving towers and 11 low-rise villa apartments.

Architect: Daniel Libeskind

Year opened: 2011

3 – The Hive @ Nanyang Technological University

Quick info: Also known as the Learning Hub, the building consists of 12 eight-storey towers arranged around a naturally ventilated public atrium. The towers that contain corner-less classrooms taper towards the base. Building popularly called as the ‘dim-sum basket’.

Architect: Thomas Heatherwick

Year opened: 2015

4 – The Interlace

Quick info: A 1000-unit apartment complex with design that looks like 31 bricks irregularly stacked upon one another, resembling Jenga blocks. It was named World Building Of The Year in 2015 World Architecture Festival.

Architect: OMA & Ole Scheeren

Year opened: 2013

5 – Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Quick info: A performing arts centre near the mouth of Singapore River. Nicknamed the ‘durian building’, the design consists of two rounded space frames fitted with triangulated glass elements and sunshades.

Architect: DP Architects & Michael Wilford & Partners.

Year opened: 2002

6 – School of Art, Design and Media @ Nanyang Technological University

Quick info: Campus building with sloping green roof. Another similar building to this is the Marina Barrage’s visitor centre.

Architect: CPG Consultants Pte. Ltd.

Year opened: 2006

7 – Golden Mile Complex

Quick info: A fine example of brutalist architecture. A high-rise commercial and residential building in a stepped-terrace structure.

Architect: DP Architects

Year opened: 1973

8 – The Colonnade

Quick info: A residential tower that also resembles Jenga block; boxes protruding in and out between exposed round concrete columns.

Architect: Paul Rudolph

Year opened: 1985

9 – ParkRoyal on Pickering

Quick info: ‘Hotel-in-a-garden’ concept. Extensive greenery incorporated into glass-clad hotel building in the form of elevated terraced gardens.

Architect: WOHA

Year opened: 2013

10 – Sky Habitat

Quick info: Two stepping residential towers with bridging sky gardens.

Architect: Moshe Safdie

Year opened: 2015

11 – The Pinnacle @ Duxton

Quick info: 50-storey residential development of 7 towers connected by the world’s two longest sky gardens (on 26th and 50th floor) at 500m length each. All seven towers are the world’s tallest public residential buildings. Conferred the 2010 Best Tall Building (Asia and Australasia) award by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

Architect: ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism, RSP Architects

Year opened: 2009

12 – Oasia Hotel Downtown

Quick info: A distinctive looking hotel building due to its red aluminium mesh cladding with different tones and acts as a backdrop for creepers. Open spaces carved out from the tower to create public spaces on the sky. Awarded Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2018 by CTBUH.

Architect: WOHA

Year opened: 2016

13 – DUO Twin Towers

Quick info: Two expressive sculptural towers with honeycomb patterned facade.

Architect: Ole Scheeren

Year opened: 2018

14 – Marina One

Quick info: Mixed-use development (two residential towers and two office towers) enveloping ‘The Heart’, a podium with courtyard that features extensive greenery and landscaping. A perfect example of ‘do not judge a book by its cover’ statement applied to a building. Highlight of the complex is not on its external facade (typical massive, box glass buildings) but on its contrasting fluid internal perimeter.

Architect: Ingenhoven Architects

Year opened: 2018

15 – Jewel @ Changi Airport

Quick info: A shopping mall with indoor gardens and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall by the airport. Newly opened.

Architect: Moshe Safdie & RSP Architects

Year opened: 2019

16 – SkyVille @ Dawson

Quick info: Highlight of this residential complex is the public, external, shared spaces interwoven through the cluster of towers from ground to roof. Fine example of great passive and sustainable design as well as community living.

Architect: WOHA

Year opened: 2015

17 – Gardens by the Bay

Quick info: Futuristic looking nature park spanning 101 hectares on reclaimed land. Main features are the two cooled conservatories (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, the former being the largest glass greenhouse in the world, they are both column-less) and Supertree Grove (tree-like structures with elevated walkway).

Architect: Conservatories by WilkinsonEyre and Grant Associates, Supertree Grove by Grant Associates.

Year opened: 2012

18 – Kampung Admiralty

Quick info: Singapore’s first integrated retirement community project. Named 2018 World Building Of The Year at the 2018 World Architecture Festival. The scheme builds upon a layered ‘club sandwich’ approach. A “Vertical Kampung (village)” is devised, with a Community Plaza in the lower stratum, a Medical Centre in the mid stratum, and a Community Park with apartments for seniors in the upper stratum.

Architect: WOHA

Year opened: 2018

19 – Lasalle College of the Arts

Quick info: A cluster of sculpted blocks arranged around a central public social space defines the form of the campus.

Architect: RSP Architects

Year opened: 2007

20 – National Stadium @ Singapore Sports Hub

Quick info: A multi-purpose stadium that features a domed roof structure with retractable roof (the world’s largest retractable dome). It also has configurable seating on the lowest tier to make it the only stadium in the world that is custom designed to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics events. Has maximum seating capacity of 55 000.

Architect: DP Architects

Year opened: 2014

So which one are your favourite buildings? Or is there any spectacular buildings that I have missed out? Feel free to comment.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

 

 

 

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Two viral news on the past Tuesday; cathedral’s fire and taxi scandal.


It is forgivable if a person keep browsing through social media on last Tuesday and not able to concentrate on work. Why? There are two major news that happened on that particular day that shocked most of us and seriously stole our attention.

The first one was the fire that destroyed the spire and a portion of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. This famous 850-years old structure was currently under renovation and the fire that destroyed its roof, upper walls, spire and part of the interior was likely caused by short circuit. There is a horrifying video showing the moment the spire collapsed during the raging fire. It is announced that the cathedral will be restored and the process will takes about 20 years or more.

This is the first viral news of the day. Pictures of the cathedral on fire flooded my Facebook home page. I have visited Paris before and I did saw this amazing structure during the trip. It is sad to know that we will be unable to see this cathedral in its original glory anymore.

When late afternoon comes, another news is popping out everywhere and this one hits mostly to the Chinese because it involves the Hong Kong entertainment industry. A video surfaced and quickly went viral; a 17-minutes cam recording in a taxi showing TVB actress and former Miss Hong Kong runner-up, Jacqueline Wong kissing and being very intimate with singer, Andy Hui, the husband of Cantopop queen, Sammi Cheng. Andy immediately hold a press conference on 7pm that day to apologize to everyone. Jacqueline’s boyfriend, Kenneth Ma (a famous TVB actor) also attended interview by the media the next day. Jacqueline posted her comment and apology on Instagram a moment before Kenneth’s interview. Then, finally, Sammi broke her silence by posting her response on Instagram yesterday. All four affected people had responded, but this issue had involved all members of the Hong Kong entertainment circle to be chased by reporters for comments, particularly their friends.

What’s my view on this? The crying and apology by Andy is an act. His words are pretty clever (he mentioned that he is drunk on that time and he is not calling that as an excuse). Well, when you mentioned that, you are already citing alcohol as an excuse for your disgusting action. I can see clearly from the clip that you are still very conscious and not drunk (only maybe a little). It also looks clear to me that they have been very close (can see from their interaction and body language in the taxi) for some time and may have done it couple of times already. Only this time, they got caught. Even the other friend that board the cab with them suspected them and insisted to take Jacqueline back home first but got ignored and rejected. Jacqueline is the one that made the advance as seen in the video. Sorry for my bad words, but it looks like she can’t wait to get screwed. What a cheap, shameless and disgusting lady. I’m hoping her career is done. She deserves this (she also tarnished Miss Hong Kong image badly). Cheating with someone’s husband is already a sin and she did that to a friend’s husband too (she is friend with Sammi too). That’s another level.

Kenneth is a nice guy and he should just break up with this woman. He deserves so much better. As for Sammi, she responded (in an Instagram post that attracted about 300 000 likes and 40 000 comments) that she forgive him and treat this as a lesson to their marriage, as a challenge to a marriage that has ups and downs For me, that cheating is more than just a lesson. It is more like a betrayal to their marriage. She shouldn’t be that soft on this matter. Anyway, I hope the best for her and it’s best for them to settle on their own since it is their private issue in the end. This is just my personal opinion. I’m happy to see her having the strength to overcome this and not to see her falling back into depression (illness she had over a decade ago that lasts several years). This event is such a big blow to the couple, which is famously known as Hong Kong’s last fairytale couple as highlighted by Dayo Wong in the past during one of Sammi’s concert. This is certainly the biggest entertainment news of the year so far.

Anway, today is Good Friday and is a public holiday here in Singapore. Good! Longer weekend for me to return to KL and enjoy! Have a blessed Good Friday to all who are celebrating!

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Marvel rules at the box office again.


The first two movies last year to gross over US$1 billion in worldwide box office sales are ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. They are both Marvel movies. The latter even crossed over the incredible 2-billion milestone. The same pattern is going to happen this year too. ‘Captain Marvel’ has recently passed the 1-billion mark. It is the 38th film in history to accomplish that and is the first this year.

Although not met with highly positive reviews, ‘Captain Marvel’ soared in ticket sales due to several factors; it is the first standalone female superhero film in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it serves as a warm-up to the highly anticipated ‘Avengers: Endgame’ that is coming up not long after, and lack of competition from other movies released in the same period. As of 5th April 2019, ‘Captain Marvel’ has grossed over US$1.005 billion. I expect it to end somewhere at US$1.1 billion.

The next film of the year that is going to achieve this milestone would be ‘Avengers: Endgame’. That is a definite thing. Early indication had shown strong worldwide interest and box office projection for this film. The film is projected to score the biggest opening worldwide and is very likely to join ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ in the 2 billion dollar club. They will be in the same group as ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and the top 2 highest grossing films of all time; ‘Avatar’ and ‘Titanic’ (both directed by James Cameron).

Same like the others, now I can’t wait to watch ‘Avengers: Endgame’. It is set to be released in Malaysia on 24th April 2019. That’s 2 days earlier from the rest of the world including US. But that days falls on a normal day. I will have to wait for that weekend or even the next weekend to watch it if tickets are still available. Advance tickets sales had started and I heard most of the seats are already taken. Some people even resell it online at a price of RM700 per ticket. That’s absurd. Fatigue of countless superhero movies nowadays? Obviously not for this one.

Other films this year that are expected to cross the 1-billion milestone (it’s getting easier now to accomplish that due to increasing ticket prices and higher availability of movies in cinemas) are ‘The Lion King’, ‘Aladdin’, and ‘Star Wars: Episode IX”. ‘Toy Story 4’, ‘Frozen 2’, ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’, and ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’. Five films last year (2018) managed to do that. I’m expecting the same this year. Alright. That’s my box office news to start off the month.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Marina One is a perfect example of a design that you should not judge a book by its cover.


Today is a cloudy day and that makes for a nice weather for me to have a walk in the city to check out this new development called Marina One. I was told by my friend recently that it has a very nice architecture and that I should have a look at it.

Marina One, designed by Christoph Ingenhoven is a mixed-use development comprising of 4 towers (2 residential and 2 office towers) and a retail podium at the downtown of Singapore. When I look at its external, I find that it is just another massive complex of typical looking glass towers. However, as I walked to its centre, I am totally surprised. The highlight of the development is on its centre, a courtyard featuring lush landscaping and is called ‘The Heart’.

What’s more interesting from this project is the contrast of the form from its very rigid and squarish external perimeter to its organic and fluid volume on its internal perimeter. The horizontal louvre fins on every floors of the tower cascade all the way to ‘The Heart’ in undulating pattern that reminds me of flying roller-coaster platform. The busyness of the fins is then balanced with the calm greenery, noiseless waterfall and ornamental pool on the ground plane.

It looks cool right? It appears very boxy, massive, plain and nothing unusual on the outside but the design’s main feature is actually on the inside. This is an architecture that informs us not to judge a book by its cover. The only little downside to its design would be its insular nature of the development. If you didn’t watch closely and walk into the complex, you will never find out about its hidden gem.

First quarter of the year done and dusted.


The past January has been quite a fulfilling and enjoyable month due to the refreshing feeling of welcoming a new year, lesser workload from my job, and the huge anticipation of the Chinese New Year holiday and vacation a month later. Then, comes the shortest month of the year; February. There comes my exciting trip to Eastern Europe and the festive Chinese New Year and holiday mood that fills the most of the month. I only worked for 10 days in that month. All that fun and relaxing moment is gone when March comes; no public holiday, a long and slow month, and many challenging tasks at work. And not to forget the almost unbearable heatwave that occurred in the past one to two weeks.

Fortunately, the weather cools down recently and it’s a very cloudy Saturday morning now. It’s a signal that Qing Ming Festival is coming and I have got to return to KL this weekend to perform my responsibility as a Chinese. First quarter of the year is over and I’m hoping to see much smoother time at work and more interesting things coming up on the remaining three quarters of the year.

Just last evening, I have finished watching my second TVB drama of the year; ‘The Ghetto-Fabulous Lady’. It is a period drama sets in the 1920’s colonial Hong Kong, and starred Adia Chan as a wife of a wealthy White government official. A series of gruesome deaths in a town and the mysterious disappearance of her husband has brought her life to the bottom. She then learns to cope with her new identity and transforms into a female Sherlock Holmes, solving mysterious events in the town. The drama also starred Ben Wong, Dickson Yu, Kaman Kong, Alice Chan, Tsui Wing, Jeanie Chan, etc.

The drama started off quite well and I thought that there would be multiple different cases for the main lead to solve. However, there’s only a few murders and they are all linked and then dragged the whole story into a 25-episode long series. The drama got very draggy in the middle and I couldn’t pay attention to it as it progresses with slow build-up. I think I have never seen Adia Chan before and she is not bad as an actress. She gives quite a solid performance. Same goes to Tsui Wing who is one of the more memorable cast in the series. He gets a solid supporting character and he nailed it. Kaman Kong plays her usual weak and forgetful girl role while Dickson Yu has to brush up a lot on his acting.

The way the story ended last evening in its final episode got me disappointed. The revelation of who is (but actually ‘are’) the killer is a let down after weeks of getting the audiences guessing. The only plus point to its final episode is its very last scene when Adia discovered Ben Wong is lying about the death of one of the victims and raises doubt over her trust of him since he may be one of the killers after all the revelation earlier. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Ghetto-Fabulous Lady’ a total of 6.0. A period drama with crime-solving cases that has a lot of potential but couldn’t go high due to draggy plot, some poor casting choice, and absence of drama or suspense. Now, looking forward to the next new drama ‘The Defected’ starring film queen Kara Hui.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Got rid of Monday blues with ‘Us’ and nature.


After having an exhausting and rushed weekend back home the past two days to celebrate my dad’s birthday and only being able to reach Singapore in the midnight due to the unusual congestion along the North-South highway last evening on my returning trip, I decided to grant myself a day of leave today (Monday) to get sufficient rest. This one-day off not only clears off Monday blues but also gave me time to settle some of my personal stuff.

Besides that, I got the opportunity to visit Bedok Reservoir today after catching a movie in a cinema nearby. It is a great alone-time for me to enjoy a very good movie and also beautiful nature at the reservoir park that I have never visited before despite me having stayed here in Singapore for almost a year by now. I certainly had a very peaceful and enjoyable time today rather than spending the usual Monday stressing on work and the long week ahead.

The film that I watched today is ‘Us’. The film is written, directed and produced by the same person; Jordan Peele. He is the man behind the very successful film ‘Get Out’ two years ago. ‘Us’ is a horror film starring Lupita Nyongo, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, etc and follows a family who are confronted by a group of doppelgangers. The story is basically much more complex and deeper than that and Jordan Peele explores things beyond just the conventional horror element to create a very intelligent film that touches on various messages, comes with deeper meanings or metaphors and gave audiences room for various interpretation.

I definitely recommend people to watch ‘Us’. It is not an ordinary horror film; it looks like a home-invasion film or a game of cat-and-mouse or even a pure slasher genre, but it is actually much more than that. I’m not going to give out spoiler here. There’s also a very huge twist in the end that really got me. I have to do a bit of research after the movie to better understand the motives behind the movie and also some missed-out details from my first viewing just now. Now, I roughly got the overall picture and I really admire Jordan Peele’s talent in delivering this out. The main lead, Lupita Nyongo did fantastic job in nailing the two roles (her own character and that of her doppelganger). The same goes to the other main cast but still Lupita Nyongo outshines the rest in her performance. She may even get an acting nomination for the Academy Awards next year although it is too early to tell for now. She was really brilliant.

The suspense and build-up of scenes are good. The score is amazing and is certainly one of the highlights of the movie too. The only thing that couldn’t get this movie to its perfect score would be the several plot holes or unanswered questions at the conclusion of the film. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Us’ a total of 8.4. An inventive, intense, thought-provoking and unconventional horror film that will certainly leaves you in questions / discussions in a good way.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

 

A quick update to my blog in the middle of this long and dull month.


Hey…I’m back to update my blog here after gone missing for almost 10 days. In the past, I would usually update my blog once every four to five days maximum. This doesn’t happen now as I was quite occupied with works and weekend activities recently.

Starting my post here would be my thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims who were tragically murdered in a terrorist attack at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. The country is thought to be one of the safest and most peaceful in the world, and yet such terrorist attack occurred over there to the shock of the whole world. On last Friday afternoon during the Muslim prayer, a 28-year old Australian shot dead 50 Muslims and injured about 50 others in the attack of which he broadcast the whole process live through Facebook. That is super insane. I did manage to watch few minutes of that video before it is being wiped out by various internet platforms. The murderer even published a manifesto before the attack, justifying on what he does is right. Not a 0.00001% of what you did is right. This is pure evil and cruelty. There is no place in this world for terrorism, for white supremacism or for Islamophobia. We are all the same; human. No one is superior than the others. Spread love, and not hate. By the way, there is no longer only a single religion being associated with terrorism from now on after this horrific incident.

On the last weekend, I have watched two new movies and they are both Chinese films. The first one is ‘The New King Of Comedy’. It is a lunar new year production released last month and is produced by Stephen Chow. The movie is lousy. I am expecting some iconic Stephen Chow’s nonsensical humor style in it but couldn’t find any at all. The movie tries to be funny but I am getting irritated instead by this garbage production. I am not against him targeting Mainland audiences with his recent direction but he just couldn’t hit the mark with that. He is also never good in directing or producing (for me, he should just return back to the screen and stick to acting….but I don’t think he would, and so he should just retire or put more effort on creating a quality work in the future). The only one good thing for this movie is its ending which is slightly moving and that’s it. Out of 10 points, I would rate it a total of 4.7.

The other Chinese film that I have watched is so much better. The movie is called ‘Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy’. You won’t be seeing Donnie Yen here as the film is not centred on Ip Man but on another martial artist named Cheung Tin Chi. The movie starred Max Zhang. Kevin Cheng, Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Tony Jaa, etc. There are plenty of intense action sequences in this movie that will satisfy anyone looking for some great fights. It’s great to see Michelle Yeoh’s return to action film by the way. The only thing I’m bored to see is the similar plot used over and over again for this kind of films (Chinese hero taking on big Western guy who looks down on the Chinese…feels very similar right?). Anyway, this movie is very solid and engaging and is worth 7.4 out of 10 points.

If you have been a close friend of mine, you would have known that my most favourite singer is Sammi Cheng whom is a Hong Kong cantopop queen. Recently, she announced that she will be holding her 10th concert (named ‘Follow Mi’) at Hong Kong’s Coliseum with 11 shows on this coming July. This 10th concert tour marks her 30th anniversary in the industry. The reason she organize 11 shows is because she is adding the total number of shows she had performed at the Hong Kong’s Coliseum to the exact 100. Now, that is record breaking. She is way ahead of other famous Hong Kong female singers like Joey Yung, Miriam Yeung, Kelly Chen, etc. She is only behind the late Anita Mui and Paula Tsui in the record. I really admires her work (both her songs and her films). Too bad, I couldn’t be watching her Hong Kong show but I do look forward to her completed films that are set to be released soon. I do hope she delivered in those films and will finally clinch her first major best actress win very soon.

I guess this is sufficient for my update to the blog. This month is going very slow. Last month was fun and yet it was gone so quickly. March 2019 has been a boring month with nothing but working days and working days.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)