The most famous skyscrapers in Singapore

A metropolis in continual and inexhaustible transformation, whose skyline never fails to amaze: Singapore, a smart city, is looking towards the future, where there will certainly be no lack of architectural marvels.

The 10 most famous and important skyscrapers in Singapore

Among the surprising buildings of this metropolis are numerous skyscrapers. The most famous tower in Singapore at the moment is definitely the famous Marina Bay Sands, that stands out from any other building in the world because, as we shall see, it consists of three skyscrapers with a kind of “ship” balanced on top. Although it is by no means the tallest skyscraper  in the city, the remarkable silhouette of this complex certainly seizes the attention, and not just of architecture enthusiasts. But these three towers are just a few of the many fascinating skyscrapers in Singapore: here are the 10 most important, in terms of height and other construction features.

1 – Guoco Tower

For convenience, let’s start with what is currently the tallest skyscraper in Singapore. At 284 metres, it was constructed in 2016, finally overtaking, after more than 20 years, the building then known as the tallest “trio” of skyscrapers in this island city state. The Guoco Tower is also known as Tanjong Tower Centre, and was able to supersede the previous limit of 280 metres because of its particular setback position, which meant it would not affect air traffic. Built in a strongly contemporary style, it has 65 floors, served by 45 lifts. As we will see later in this list of the most famous skyscrapers in Singapore, it seems that Guoco Tower will not remain in top place of the tallest building rankings for long.

2 – One Raffles Place

As we mentioned above, for about twenty years, Singapore had 3 “tallest” towers, all standing 280 metres from the ground. Indeed, that was the limit that until a short time ago was deemed insuperable on the island of Singapore. One Raffles Place, at 280 metres, was built in 1986; it was joined in 2012 by Tower 2. This tower stands out not only for its height but for the presence of a podium at the base, which has 6 floors of shops and a further 5 floors of office space.

3 – Republic Plaza

Another skyscraper from the trio of the previous tallest skyscrapers in Singapore is Republic Plaza, which is also 280 metres high, and was built between 1991 and 1996. Here, too, we are dealing with two distinct towers, Republic Plaza 1 and Republic Plaza 2. The first is the taller tower and features a varying octagonal section with 66 floors.

4 – United Overseas Bank Plaza

This is the last of the Singapore trio that were formerly the tallest skyscrapers in the city. UOB Plaza is again a complex of two towers: United Overseas Bank Plaza 1 and United Overseas Bank Plaza 2; the former is 280 metres tall, while the latter is 162 metres tall. We should point out that the latter building is the older one, having been completed in 1973, while the taller skyscraper was completed in 1995. The buildings are connected up to a height of 45 metres from the shared podium.

5 – Marina Bay Sands

As we noted above, Marina Bay Sands is definitely the most famous skyscraper in Singapore. Designed by the Israeli and naturalized Canadian archistar Moshe Safdie, it quickly became the architectural symbol of the city-state. Completed in 2011, this building has 3 distinct inclined towers, each of which has 55 floors. With regard to this building, one might well ask: what is at the top of these 3 skyscrapers in Singapore? The answer is that at the top, 194 metres from the ground, there is a suspended garden between each tower and the next, a terrace unique of its kind from which people can admire a 360° view of the city’s skyline. The three towers make up an enormous resort, housing a huge casino, 2,561 hotel rooms, a shopping centre, a multipurpose centre, a museum, a theatre and several restaurants. The Sands Skypark, that connects the 3 towers, soaring over them, is 340 metres long, and can accommodate up to 3,902 people at the same time. Moreover, there is also a 150-metre swimming pool. The shape of this particular complex of skyscrapers in Singapore is now known around the world: the platform that sits above them resembles a ship suspended over the three towers.

6 – Capita Spring

At 280 metres, built between 2018 and 2021, the Capita Spring is the second tallest tower in Singapore, in joint place with the trio mentioned above. Designed by Big and by Carlo Ratti, it has been described as the meeting between architecture and biophilic design, since among other things, it houses 80,000 plants, situated at the bottom, in the central nucleus, and at the top, interrupting the 51 floors of the Capita Spring tower. So in this particular skyscraper, nature tries to appropriate new spaces for itself here and there.

7 – Capital Tower

At 253 metres tall, the Capital Tower was completed in 2000: after one skyscraper of 284 metres and four of 280 metres, it is the sixth tallest tower in Singapore, as well as the tallest tower built in Singapore during the 2000s.

8 – 8 Shenton Way

8 Shenton Way was the tallest cylindrical tower in the world, rising to a height of 235 metres. Famous for its 360° view, it was also known as the AXA Tower. It is currently in the process of being demolished, in order to be replaced by a new, much higher skyscraper: the aim is for the new 8 Shenton Way to rise to a height of 305 metres; the design of the new skyscraper was inspired by the bamboo forests, creating a vertical structure with many green terraces. The materials to be used in its construction include engineered bamboo and terracotta, and the building will thus become an example of sustainable design.

9 – The Interlace

This Singapore skyscraper does not break any records in terms of its height. It is actually “only” about 90 metres at its tallest point. What is astonishing is the floor plan of this building complex: it is a collection of 31 blocks stacked in an irregular way, resembling an imaginative arrangement of Jenga blocks. In total there are over 1,000 apartments, creating a concept for a residential building that is unique of its kind.

10 – Ocean Financial Centre

The last building in our list of the most famous skyscrapers in Singapore is the Ocean Financial Centre. The epicentre of the numerous financial businesses in this city-state, it is 245 metres tall, and is topped with photovoltaic panels; the present building replaces the previous Ocean Building, which was demolished in 2007.