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Parkroyal Collection Pickering, exterior
Photograph: Unsplash/Danist

The most stunning green architecture in Singapore

These architectural marvels boast some serious sustainable design

Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Cheryl Sekkappan
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Singapore's 'city in a garden' aspirations doesn't stop with our rugged nature trails and beautiful public parks. Our buildings are getting the green treatment too – and we're not talking about simple greenwashing. Some architectural gems in the city are lush and green but designed from the ground up with sustainability principles in mind. They use less electricity, produce less waste, and generally strive to have a low carbon footprint. We've sussed out some of the prettiest in the city that's worth stopping in your tracks to gawk at. 

RECOMMENDED: The most beautiful traditional architecture in Singapore and The coolest futuristic architecture in Singapore

  • Property
  • Changi 

This majestic dome is home to the tallest indoor waterfall in the world and is a masterpiece in sustainable design. Developed by Safdie Architects, Jewel Changi Airport boasts a stunning domed roof, enclosing tiers of horticultural displays and the dramatic, five-storey-tall HSBC Rain Vortex. Water used in the waterfall is collected and recycled to reduce water waste, while the domed facade is made out of special material to cut reliance on air-conditioning and cool the mall interior sustainably. 200 species of flora and fauna are not just for visitors to admire – they add as green lungs to purify and refresh the air. 

  • Hotels
  • Chinatown

The verdant greenery and fluid lines of PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering stands out among the low and historic shophouses of Chinatown. This breath of fresh air was designed by the Singapore-based WOHA Architects as a 'hotel-in-a-garden', and stepping just standing outside, you'd agree they've succeeded. Curving sky gardens are terraced on the hotel facade, covering 15,000 square meters in total. Inside, green walls and water features add to the resort-like experience right in the city. The sky gardens are sustainable too, relying on solar cells, motion sensors, rainwater harvesting and reclaimed water. 

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  • Art
  • City Hall

The National Gallery is a work of art in itself. Restored from the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, the museum features many architectural highlights – but one of the most prominent and stunning has to be its filigreed roof and veil. The roof and veil are made out of over 20,000 perforated aluminium and fitted glass panels, letting in streams of sunlight that throw interesting patterns of light and shadow on the courtyards below. It also helps to keep the building cool (also thanks in part to the reflective pools on the roof of the building). 

  • Hotels
  • Tanjong Pagar

Ever wanted to live in a plush apartment right in the heart of the city? At Oasia Hotel Downtown, you can – and you wouldn't have to give up on any greenery either. The bright red facade of this hotel is covered in up to 21 species of plants and flowers, which add colour and life (even attracting birds!) to the urban jungle that is Tanjong Pagar. WOHA, the architecture firm behind Oasia, has broken down the walls on all four sides of the lobby (and the 21st floor); the resulting natural draft evokes a vibe reminiscent of a Bali villa retreat, albeit in a high-rise. Air-conditioning, what? 

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  • Hotels
  • Tanjong Pagar

This luxurious garden residence in Orchard was designed with the healing effects of nature in mind. Designed by British architectural and design studio Heatherwick Studio, it brings the tropical loveliness of Singapore close to residents with layers upon layers of hanging gardens. These are flush with a mix of rare and tropical species, which help to cool to the building, absorb rainwater and improve air quality. Less obvious facets of the design include the flooring plan. Bedrooms and service areas in the homes are pushed to the perimeter of the building in a shift away from common, box-like residential towers. Residents get to enjoy more sunlight and natural cross-ventilation – which helps with air-conditioning bills too. 

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