Thursday, November 29, 2007

OUR TREASURES: The Esplanade

Arguably Southeast Asia’s most magnificent arts complex and I'm definitely not arguing. Singapore’s Esplanade is one of the best architecture I have ever seen and one of the most beautiful buildings on Earth.

Locals endearingly call itThe Durian”. But contrary to popular belief, the original design didn’t intend to look like the smelly *and hellish!* fruit. It just so happen it looks like one. And others call it “the fly’s eyes” anyway, meaning, it’s all subject to personal interpretation.

30 years in the making – this performing arts complex was worth the wait. It has put Singapore on the international cultural map. World-class performers can’t wait to caboodle the state-of-the-art acoustics and stage of this “classy” venue. Some of Asia’s largest productions is on stage here.

Esplanade formally opened on 12 October 2002 and the government even issued commemorative stamps to mark the occasion. Located in 6 hectares (15 acres) of uber-prime land and was built to the tune of…hold your breath…US$400 million. Whew! Get a load of that!

The Esplanade was purposely built to be the centre of the performing arts of the Republic of Singapore. There is a 1,600 seat concert hall and a 2,000-seat theatre for the performing arts. There are outdoors venues as well in a 300-meter-long waterfront facing Marina Bay.

What do you make of those triangular aluminium that covers the building? Are those petals? Fish scales? Thorny spikes? What? Those are especially designed to cover the building from direct sunlight. It also allows a fantastic view of the skyline from the inside. Since Singapore is about 83 miles south of the equator, the sun’s path is constant all year round.

How do you know when a building is in Singapore? Well, a good give-away is that it is connected to a shopping mall. Yup! An architectural wonder as the Esplanade is connected to a shopping mall with its namesake. There’s a courtyard where you can people watch, relax and bask in the sun. Wonderful, wonderful place.

How to get there? Take the subway and get off City Hall MRT Station and its just 10 mins walk from there. If you’re the bus-riding kind; take 36, 56, 75, 70, 77, 97, 106, NR1, NR2, NR5 and a lot more. Taking the tube is probably the better option, or better yet...those nice cabs.

Singapore's Esplanade --
Treasure of Southeast Asia.


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aries said...

heeey i like durian!!!

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