Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Singapore’s Esplanade: a different kind of durian

The comparison is inescapable. From a distance, Singapore’s Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay resembles a pair of durian, the fruit that is distinctive not just for its taste (buttery) and smell (noisome) but also for its thorns.

the Esplanade at the Singapore River
the Esplanade by the Singapore River

one half of the Esplanade
a closer look of one half of the Esplanade

Consciously conceived by Singapore as an edifice of world note, this center for cultural and arts shelters a concert hall, a theatre, studios, galleries, a public library and of course the inescapable mall.

thorny pair
the pair of thorny domes

Esplanade in daylight
the roofscape at daylight

The design has its share of critics. When officially opened in October 2002, the initial reception was mixed. The aluminum sunshades which cover the two domes elicited association with eyes of a giant fruit fly, two sliced microphones, a couple of cheese graters, fencing masks or even a pair of copulating aardvarks.

Esplanade durian during sunset
the “durian”’s metallic surface during sunset

Perhaps 7 years is not yet sufficient a time for the Esplanade to be indubitably acclaimed as a modern architectural wonder. But for anyone who has seen the Esplanade up close, it certainly is no eyesore anymore.

cleaning the thorns
cleaning the thorns is never easy

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: