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Date [ 2015-11-19, 07:16 ]

Now living at close quarters need not be a drag.

The Pinnacle@Duxton, world's highest public housing.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) by Jun Boon-Hwa = Government public housing usually evokes pictures of crowding, unhygienic, squalid buildings. Repainting that should have been done a long time ago, rubbish thrown everywhere indiscriminately while the lifts are heavy with urine smells.

Not so at the Pinnacle@Duxton in Singapore. Built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) it rises high above the cityscape. Comprised of seven 50-storey towers that are linked by open-air sky bridges, its 1,848 apartments does not make it the world’s largest but it does take the title of being the tallest public housing complex in the world. Shops, a restaurant, an education center, a kindergarten and two residents' centers, round out this housing complex.

The seven towers are connected by a stretch of continuous roof gardens, known as Sky Gardens, on the 26th and 50th floors. Altogether there are 12 roof gardens, some of which are named as lSky Gym, Hillock, Crater, Meadows or Lounge, Beach. Included are sports facilities, children’s playgrounds, outdoor fitness gym for the elderly, lounges, lawns and beaches, covering a total area of almost one hectare.  Of special interest is the landscape furniture resembling beach deck chairs and outdoor sofa sets and which are really more comfortable than the way they look. All these provide various diverse creative spaces for community interaction. One important role these gardens play is that they function as areas of refuge if and when fires breakout.

Open to the public, who soon go into spasms of awe when they gaze out on the observation deck. It is simply stunning.  Chinatown is right below and falling into view are the Central Business Distinct, the busy harbour and in the distance, Sentosa Island  with waves rippling around its shores.

The seven skybridges are linked at different levels and allow residents multiple entries.  Wide and spacious, their favorite activity seems to be jogging. Other just relax reading the newspapers or chatting with their neighbours.

Another pull is the viewing deck which enables visitors to walk the entire length of it, from one end to the other. For the less fit, there are numerous spots to take a break and just sit down to savour the view.

You are not allowed to eat or drink on the skybridge but this  not adhered to, especially  by the residents. Chicken rice and cold beer seems to be a favourite with them. They however take care to clean up well as there are security cameras.

The entrance for the public is at Tower 1G. The skybridge is open from 9 am to 9.45pm daily. The entire system is automated, and it  costs just S$5 for an EZ-Link card which will give you access to the 50th floor and its skybridge.  Certainly much cheaper than a viewpoint like Marina Bay Sands which charges a hefty S$20.
So as not to disrupt  the everyday life of the residents., visitors are limited to just 200 for a day. Usually this quota is never attained unless it is a public holiday or a special event.  The National Day fireworks display will have the skybridge filled to capacity.

Obviously, the greatest contribution the
Pinnacle@Duxton has made  is that it has proven that not only the rich can afford to live in luxurious high rise buildings but also ordinary people in wide open spaces and with room to spare. It allows, when changing family requirements arise, for the apartments to become flexible by joining together or dividing up. You could not ask for more than that in a Singapore always  searching for more space.


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