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.
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.
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 unit has a washing machine in a small enclosed outdoor area, where you can also hang laundry to dry.
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 seems like it's well-used. We saw people reading, lounging, and playing games up there.
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