Folding awnings shade a narrow alleyway covered with makeshift market stalls. They mostly consist of plastic...
Lego-like containers are piling up in a tiny port. Mini-cars speed up in webs of mini-roads. Red roofs of mini-shophouses flash between green canopies of mini-trees. With an eagle eye, we are trying to spot a familiar looking place.
And there it is – ‘Kiosk’. Our weekend oasis of relaxation and good beer. Its tiny contours cut off from the surrounding strands of narrow streets and a parking lot in the size of a fingernail. From the bird’s eye perspective at 150 meters, it looks even more charming than usual.
Skyscrapers, less lofty than usual, rub shoulders with clay-red squares of construction sites. Ant-sized people rush for dinner at anthills of food courts. Lines of lazy-Sunday walkways pulsate with colourful patches of street performances. The distance makes them into blurry, shimmering spots of colours. Sound – only it remains clear and loud.
We admire fiery red streaks of the setting sun which cross a dark vastness of the evening sky. Mesmerising colours compete with black and silvery-grey clouds of a looming thunderstorm. A breeze on the top of the urban world is getting fiercer. By tangling our hair, it lets us know it is about time to evacuate. Fifty floors below, we join ant-sized people seeking shelter from the first drops of rain.
The Pinnacle@Duxton – the unique viewing deck
The Pinnacle@Duxton – a massive complex of government housing blocks (HDB), consisting of seven 150-meter towers, connected by two 500m long bridges. The bridge on a 26th floor is available only for the tenants, while the bridge on a 50th floor is available for the general public. It offers a phenomenal, panoramic view of Singapore and surroundings (if weather permits of Indonesia). In addition, the bridge is divided into thematic sections with garden-like zones in each. And so we have, for example, “a beach” with an imitation of a sandy sea-shore and sunbeds, “rocks” with the mini climbing wall, “a romantic sanctuary” with a charming gazebo sheltered by green grove, etc. An extraordinary half kilometre length makes the structure the longest sky-garden in the world.
The building houses an enormous number of 1,848 apartments. There are following amenities available for the residential use: a food court, a day care, basketball and futsal fields, as well as sections with equipment to exercise.
Thanks to an interesting architecture, the building has won numerous awards in local and global competitions. Over 200 companies from 32 countries entered an initial competition for The Pinnacle design in 2001. In the end, it was won by a local company ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism. A process of building the massive structure according to ARC plan took four years, and it ended in 2009.
The Pinnacle@Duxton is not only an architectonical icon but also a historical one. Its location is the very same spot where the first two HDB blocks were built in 1963. They stood only at 10-sotry height, though.
Know before you go
The best time to visit sky gardens is during the “blue hour” (from 6:30 pm till nightfall). It is then when you can admire a fantastic colour transformation of an azure sky, turning dark blue and finally black. The whole spectacle is further embellished with a unique colour palette of sunset. Despite favourable circumstances – fantastic views, lovely relaxation areas, and green zones – food and drinks are not allowed it the sky gardens. Smoking is prohibited. Pet owners also would need to leave their furry friends at home.
Visits during thunderstorms are to be avoided at all cost. Storms in the open space at the 150m are as spectacular as dangerous.
1 Cantonment Rd, Singapore 080001
The nearest MRT (Singapore subway) stations are Tanjong Pagar and Outram Park. From both, you need to walk about 10 minutes to reach the destination. However, buses 167, 196 and 75 will drop you off just next to the building itself.
Daily between 9 am – 9 pm.
The bridge may be closed during holidays and special events organised there. You should also keep in mind that a daily limit of visitors is 200. Unfortunately, entry pass cannot be booked in advance.
Admission pass can only be bought with the EzLink card, used in the whole public transport in Singapore. A payment machine is located on a ground floor of the block 1G.
You can reach the sky garden by any elevator in each of the building towers. Also, there is an entrance gate in each of them. To go in you need to use the same card you made a payment with. There is no time limit for staying on the bridge. However, you need to enter within an hour from pass purchase. Afterwards, entry pass will be terminated.