The Pinnacle@Duxton is Singapore’s largest public housing complex. The immense project was commissioned by the local Housing Development Board (HDB) to show that public housing can be cost-efficient and high-quality at the same time. The Pinnacle@Duxton also has the world’s longest sky parks that offer unparalleled views of the city-state – and for a fraction of the cost of more traditional tourist locations in Singapore.
Getting to the Pinnacle@Duxton itself is easy enough considering it really is impossible to miss seven inter-connected, 50-story buildings. The difficulty comes in finding the public access point to the 50th-floor sky bridge. To reach the lift that is open to the public, you need to go to tower 1G, which faces Cantonment Road.
To get help from your GPS, search for ‘Opp Maritime Hse’, as this bus stop is directly outside the entry point. The sign is very small and it is easy to walk right by; it’s the piece of paper taped to the wall in the top right image of the collage below.
You need to walk through a small hallway and look for the kiosk on your right-hand side. To the left of the kiosk, there is a partially obsured management office where the security guard sits. Show him your ticket (or buy it from him, if the machine is out of order) and he’ll allow you into the lifts.
The sky park is open to the public from 9AM until 9PM and costs $5 per person. Theoretically, this must be paid through your EZ-Link card (the contactless card you need for public transit) using the kiosk, but keep exact change in case the kiosk isn’t working.
The reason to visit the Pinnacle@Duxton, curiosity aside, is to experience the breathtaking views from the sky garden. The sky park is 500 metres long, and although the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is blocked from views, visitors can enjoy seeing the skyscrapers that make up the Central Business District from an entirely new perspective that gives the sense of being above a totally alien world. From another side, visitors are high over the brightly colored tiled roofs of Chinatown. Looking towards the south, the view gives visitors an idea of the immensity of the Harbour-front port that is impossible to understand from ground level.
Besides the view, there are play structures and art installations to amuse children and adults alike. Although eating and drinking on the sky park are prohibited, there are no restrictions on how long visitors can stay, so feel free to bring a book and work on your tan before you hit the sandy beaches of Sentosa!
Not being allowed to eat in the sky park is disappointing, but visitors will quickly recover when they step into Essen@Pinnacle. More food court than hawker center (it has air conditioning, and you can even make reservations) – there are five food stalls that serve up a variety of tourist-friendly food. Highlights of the food court include Two Wings, whose delicately fried wings led food blogger Daniel of danielfooddiary.com to deem them ‘possibly the best chicken wings in Singapore’, and Garçons, a collaborative effort between well-known Singapore chefs Enoch Teo and Immanuel Tee who met while working at Restaurant Ande (which was recently awarded two stars from the Michelin Guide). At Garçons, these two chefs work to create affordable, yet still high-quality, French food.