Singapore is a city-state that has more than 4,300 high-rises, most of which are located in the country’s central business district, the Downtown Core. Over 64 buildings in the city rise higher than 459 feet. The history of the country’s skyscrapers began in 1939 after the completion of the 17-story Cathay Building. At the time of its completion, this building served as Southeast Asia’s tallest building, but this position was replaced by the 285 feet tall Asia Insurance Building in 1954. The 1970’s and 1980’s period witnessed a major building boom in the country that triggered rapid industrialization in Singapore and continued through the 1990’s and the 2000’s. Many of the tallest buildings in Singapore were constructed during this time.
Three buildings in Singapore share the title of being the highest buildings in the state and the 128th tallest building in the world. Due to the proximity of the Paya Lebar Airbase, the buildings in the central business district of the city are not allowed to rise above 919 feet.
Singapore's Top Three Tallest Buildings
One Raffles Place
The 920 feet tall One Raffles Place shares the title of being the tallest skyscraper in Singapore along with the UOB Plaza and the Republic Plaza. In 1986, when the building was completed, it stood as the tallest building in the world outside North America till the Bank of China Tower succeeded it. The One Raffles Place is located at the center of the Raffles Place. The building features two triangular structures with a small space between them. The column-free office space of the building is supported by its steel frame. The entrance to the building is dramatic and has an 8-storey cutaway with skylights.
Completed in 1995, the 919 feet tall, Republic Plaza building is located in the central business district of Singapore known as the Downtown Core. The building is at the Southern end of the Raffles Place. Despite being not located in an earthquake-prone zone, the Republic Plaza has a number of earthquake proof features. The building has a simple and sturdy structure with a square form and chamfered corners at the base and a gradually tapering tower. The central core of the building contains the basic functional features like the elevator shafts and emergency stairways. Surrounding the central core is lettable office space. The other significant features of the building are 15 double-decker vertical lifts, a four-storey high main lobby with a polished ceramic and granite finish, and a design that reflects a subtle Oriental influence. The building has an office lettable area of 769,388 square ft and a retail lettable area of 18,483 square ft.
United Overseas Blank Plaza One
The United Overseas Blank Plaza One (OUB Plaza 1) is the tallest building in Singapore that shares the title with the two others mentioned above. The UOB Plaza One is linked by 45-meter podium to the UOB Plaza Two, the shorter and older of the two buildings. The 920 feet tall, 67-storied, UOB Plaza One was completed in 1992. The headquarters of the United Overseas Bank is located in this building. The Si Chuan Dou Hua, a restaurant inspired by the architecture of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, is on the 60th floor of the OUB Plaza 1. The building also houses a mosque in the basement that is run by the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura. The underground location of the mosque has stirred some controversies in the Muslim world.