Set Current Location
|Monday to Friday||08:30 AM to 06:00 PM|
At the northern bank of the Singapore River near Cavenagh Bridge stands this robust neoclassical structure named in honor of Queen Victoria. Designed by chief engineer Major McNair, the Empress Place Building was built in 1865 with a beautiful facade adorned with Doric columns and rustic French windows topped by ornate fanlights. Initially a courthouse, it had become the headquarters for some government offices by the 1960s. After a profound refurbishment, it was introduced to the public in 1989, its premises taken over by an art gallery, souvenir shops and eateries. You ought to visit the place when you come to Singapore.
This two-story grandeur was once intended to be a private mansion. It was designed and erected by Irishman George Coleman in 1827 on a site previously occupied by the Temenggong of Singapore and his followers. The Palladian-style building then served as the Singapore Court House until 1939 after which it became the seat of legislature. Complementing its elegant display of pillars and porticoes, a little bronze elephant presented to the State by King Chulalongkorn of Siam in 1871 stands guard outside. The building now is a venue for contemporary visual arts, music, dance, film, comedy, and theater. Guided tours are available.
The final classical structure built in the city area, the neoclassical Supreme Court was designed by municipal architect Dorrington Ward sometime between 1937 and 1939. One of the finest buildings of the British era, it is characterized by Corinthian pillars, Georgian windows and an imposing green dome. Also of architectural interest are the allegorical sculptures by Italian Calvalieri Rodolfo Nolli. The Supreme Court's internal grounds are not open to public. Check website for more details.
Adjacent to the Supreme Court is the older, more elegant City Hall that houses government ministries. It is a national monument that was gazetted in the year 1992. Constructed in 1929, it is distinguished by the Corinthian colonnade and the huge flight of steps beneath. It witnessed the surrender of Japan to the British in 1945 and Lee Kuan Yew's declaration of Singapore's independence from Britain 14 years later. Lee returned here again in 1965 to declare Singapore a nation independent of Malaya. The Multimedia Gallery screens presentations on the Singapore Judiciary. A two-week notice is required if you are interested to see the rest of the interior. Admission is free.
From its indoor performance spaces to its outdoor venues, Esplanade presents a full lifestyle experience: from the performing arts to shopping, dining and other forms of cultural entertainment. The center, merging an exclusive waterfront location by Marina Bay with the excitement of the arts, also welcomes private functions. It's capable of handling functions for 10 or 2,000 people, Esplanade is able to meet the needs of every occasion, whether a full scale musical or a high-powered meeting for top executives. There are world-class hotel rooms, major convention centers, parking spaces, shops, restaurants and bars within its immediate vicinity.
This colorful building with louvered windows, balconies, and entrances has been conferred the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Architectural Heritage Award. Within it stands a sculpture by Joseph McNally called Big Bang. Constructed in 1934 for use as the Hill Street Police Station, the building was the largest government building in Singapore and one of the finest police barracks in the world then. The police vacated the building in 1980, and after some structural engineering, the National Archives, National Heritage Board, Board of Film Censors and Oral History Department took over the premises. Today, after a SGD80 million face lift, it is home to the Ministry of Information and the Arts (MITA).
Esplanade Concert Hall is housed within the complete lifestyle and entertainment experience, the Esplanade (Theatres on the Bay). A major tourist attraction and landmark in Singapore, the place is an out-an-out entertainment venue as well as arts center. Its Esplanade Concert Hall is one such venue. It serves host to various music concerts, live performances, ceremonies, seminars, conferences and so on. The hall provides for gallery seating and has a total seating capacity of around 1800. With state-of-the-art acoustics, the hall is one of the only such five halls in the world to have such superb acoustic features. Esplanade Concert Hall adds glitter to the already charming Esplanade (Theatres on the Bay).
Since its opening in June 1933, Clifford Pier has seen multitudes of immigrants setting foot in Singapore for the first time. Constructed to replace Johnston Pier, it has a simple but unique architecture with an interesting roof comprising concrete arched trusses in a delightful riband form. It was designed by the Public Works Department (then headed by Frank Dorrington Ward) and was named after Sir Hugh Charles Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements. The pier is still in operation today, albeit with much less activity.