Singapore's New Public Housing Project Looks A Lot Like A Luxury Condo

Pinnacle at Duxton Singapore

Over 80 per cent of Singapore’s population lives in government housing.

That’s because the cost of housing is astronomically expensive in the dense city-state. Generally, only millionaires live in private condos, while the rest of the population — anyone who makes under approximately S$120,000 per year — resides in public housing complexes.

Click here to go straight to the housing complex >

But Singapore’s version of public housing is glamorous, and looks much more like luxury condos than what we typically think of as public housing in the U.S.

I recently toured the Pinnacle @ Duxton, a public housing complex in Singapore which opened in 2010. There are 1,848 units — almost all of which are spacious and modern three-bedrooms — in the seven towers. The towers are connected by a furnished roof deck on the 50th floor, which has gyms, running tracks, playgrounds, and spectacular views of the city and harbor.

Of course the Pinnacle @ Duxton represents the higher end of public housing and plenty of people live in older units, but it also marks the direction that Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) will go in the future.

Architecture firm ARC Studio constructed the complex with the goal of housing an extremely dense population in a very livable way. One of the ways they do that is with greenery: the outdoor spaces have gardens and leisure facilities.

“We are fascinated by how greenery and nature collide with architecture,” principal architect Khoo Peng Beng said.

The result is a modern, livable housing complex that feels surprisingly intimate despite its huge scale.

Disclosure: Our trip to Singapore, including travel and lodging expenses, was sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board.

Here's what the Pinnacle looks like from the outside. There are 7 towers, which are connected by a roof deck on the 50th floor and an observation deck on the 26th floor.

We met a 73-year-old resident named Rahman, who showed us his 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment on the 41st floor.

Rahman lives with his son and his cat, Sess. (Most extended families live together in Singapore.)

The apartments are large and have floor-to-ceiling windows. Most apartments in the Pinnacle at Duxton have 3 bedrooms and measure about 1,000 square feet.

Each apartment has a large open kitchen.

There's also lots of storage space and walk-in closets.

Each bedroom has a small balcony and lots of natural light.

From the balcony, you can see the other towers and awesome views of Singapore beyond.

Each unit has a washing machine in a small enclosed outdoor area, where you can also hang laundry to dry.

The hallways are open-air and breezy.

Residents can take the elevator up to the roof deck on the 50th floor, called the Skybridge. It's also open to the public for a small S$5 fee per person.

The Skybridge links all seven towers in the apartment complex.

You can walk between all of the towers on a walking path.

There's lots of greenery and shady sitting areas up here.

All of the sitting areas have spectacular views.

You can enjoy the views of the Singapore skyline and harbor from these chaise lounges.

There are shady covered walkways.

And sculptural installations, like this jungle gym, which kids can climb over.

The Skybridge seems like it's well-used. We saw people reading, lounging, and playing games up there.

There's another Skybridge on the 26th floor.

This level is covered and has a running track.

We saw lots of people running and walking on the track.

There's also an outdoor gym here with bikes, ellipticals, and other manual workout machines.

And there's a jungle gym for kids to play on.

Now see another amazing thing in Singapore.

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.