The city-state of Singapore is one of Asia's Four Tigers with South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and its lust for daring design is more than an elegant postscript to
Asia's most cosmopolitan coordinates. This is a place
that fuses the traditional and modern with equal
drama, welcoming the florid and the austere. With
an urban landscape embracing robust, free-market,
contemporary architecture, the republic's ease with
experimentation yields spectacular results in a world-class city. (There is even a "Uniquely Singapore" edition
of the board game Monopoly).
Thanks to its numerous historical passages (British
colony, Japanese occupation, merger with Malaysia,
official Republic of Singapore in 1965), Singapore
offers a cornucopia of architectural styles, such as the
vernacular Malay houses with disciplined proportions
that utilize natural materials like bamboo and timber.
One also finds ubiquitous Colonial structures like the
spectacular 124-year-old Raffles Hotel, the original home
of the Singapore Sling (concocted by bartender Ngiam
Tong Boon in 1915) and a port to Rudyard Kipling and,
more recently, Queen Sophia of Spain. The city's rich
Art Deco legacy spans the Old Kallang Airport and the
former Ford Factory, designed by the French structural
engineer Emile Brizay.