Singapore is an amazing city in many respects, not least the architectural. There’s so much going on here in terms of form, texture and colour that it’s an absolute feast for the flaneur. The key to all this has to be the cosmopolitan nature of Singapore. Any time you get a cultural melting pot you are bound to find all sorts of interesting flavours going on, whether that’s London, New York or the business hub that is this thriving environment. In this post, we will share Singapore’s eclectic architecture and the influence of Feng Shui.
There’s no sense in rehashing the history here in too much detail as much of it is already familiar, but suffice it to say that Singapore’s colonial past combined with the surrounding native Chinese cultural influences all come together to produce something marvellous today.
Now one point that’s worth picking up on, in particular, is the influence of Feng Shui. Whether you think of it as a philosophy or a kind of ancient, mystical psychology, what Feng Shui amounts to in purely materialist terms is arranging objects in a pleasing way. This isn’t to detract from the more profound elements by any means- it’s simply to put the focus for the moment on the purely aesthetic side.
A crucial concept, for instance, is always having free-flowing interiors, especially in bedrooms. In any bedroom, the bed must be raised off the floor and have plenty of space around it. Of course, the bed itself should be of a good design too- no poor quality, unsupportive beds or mattresses. If you’re looking to take design inspiration from the interiors of Singapore then addressing the bed would definitely be the first step. The easiest thing actually is just to do it online and go for easy mattress delivery (…in itself very stress-free and very Feng Shui come to think of it)!
So let’s look at one of the most spectacular examples of various cultural influences colliding in a harmonious way: the terraced gardens at Singapore’s Marina Bay. These are designed by Gustafson Porter and Bowman, which is actually a London based architectural firm. Check out their website as the landing page is a really cool aerial view of the beautiful multi-tiered gardens. It’s clear that there’s been some Feng Shui influence here as space just somehow seems so serene and peaceful, quite distinct from a lot of more purely Western architecture.
Another interesting example is this mind-blowing translucent box home. It isn’t cosy, in any way shape or form, but it is clear- not only literally but in an atmospheric sense too. It’s impossible to imagine chaos reigning here and impossible to imagine holding anything but a clear perspective on life as a resident. It might not be traditional Eastern design, but that underlying sense of order definitely chimes with the tranquillity of Eastern tradition.
So if this has inspired you to rearrange your living space then remember that the key is working intelligently with, and not against, that space. Let the eye travel over the objects in the room as though it’s moving over a sculpture in a gallery. Try and tune into the visual rhythm of the room and when the eye “jolts” in any way, note that as a point that needs to be addressed and try various alternative arrangements until you eliminate the abruptness.