5 new structures in Singapore that will wow you

Jonathan Choe, for CNNPublished 28th August 2015
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This article was originally published in August 2015.
(CNN) — Singapore -- the home of Esplanade "the durian" Theatre, ArtScience "the banana" Museum and other iconic structures -- continues to reinvent itself with new marvels of modern construction.
Coinciding with the city state's jubilee anniversary in 2015 are five stunning new public developments.
Each is redefining the fabric of Singapore with fancy facades, crazy curves, and decadently restored historic structures. Here's what you'll want to check out when you go to Singapore:

1. South Beach

After nearly decade of planning (due to project delays resulting from the 2007-8 financial crisis), the highly anticipated South Beach complex is nearing completion.
With a prime location occupying an entire city block next to Raffles Hotel, the development features a number of repurposed historic structures, along with office towers by renowned British architect Norman Foster, and a hotel designed by Philippe Starck.
The highlight is a beautiful wave-like canopy forming a large sheltered outdoor mall, which will no doubt become one of the coolest new spots in the city to shop, eat, and hang out. The complex is opening gradually, with the office tower completed and designer hotel slated to open in April 2016.
South Beach, Beach Road, Singapore; complex opening in stages.

2. Indian Heritage Centre

This brand new gallery literally shimmers like a jewel in Singapore's vibrant "Little India" district.
Its colorful facade is inspired by Indian "baori" (step wells). Activity pulses along the newly pedestrianized street out front.
The sleek Indian Heritage Centre is enough to delight any modern architecture fan, but it also features traditional elements such as a 16-feet-high (five meters) entrance door, hand carved by Indian craftsmen especially for the new building. Dark, dramatic exhibition spaces feature priceless artifacts of Singapore's Indian heritage alongside interactive and multimedia displays.
After each level of galleries, a moment of visual ecstasy is provided through a trip down a flight of "baori" stairs, hanging on the outside of the buildings in a glass enclosure with stunningly colorful graphics and a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline and cityscape of Little India.

3. Singapore University of Technology & Design

The high-tech SUTD campus buildings were jointly designed by avant-garde Dutch architects UNStudio and homegrown firm DP Architects.
Jonathan Choe/CNN
People don't often think of visiting a university campus, unless they're a freshman going for a campus tour.
The new SUTD campus is different. It's funky, fresh buildings epitomize the high-tech architecture of Singapore. And nestled among the cutting-edge buildings are four priceless Qing and Ming dynasty structures more than 400 years old, which were shipped over from China by film star Jackie Chan as a gift to the new university.
Singapore University of Technology & Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore; campus open to public.

4. National Gallery Singapore

Although this spectacular new art gallery doesn't open until November, it's possible to get a sneak glimpse at the immaculately restored museum (sans art) on one of the "naked museum" tours if you're lucky.
After opening, the gallery's first traveling exhibition will be a collaboration with the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris, featuring works by Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall.
Designed by French architects Studio Milou with local partner CPG Consultants, the new National Gallery Singapore integrates the historic Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, with the creation of a new glass and steel roof. It's a fusion the architects describe as a "very nonviolent way of joining the two without changing the existing buildings." The gallery opened in November 2015.

5. Capitol Singapore

Fancy catching a play but bored with all the typical venues? The recently completed Capitol Singapore breathes new life into the historic Capitol Theatre, one of Southeast Asia's first cinemas, which was built in the 1930s. All jazzed up, it now incorporates stylish new shopping and dining venues in the heart of the city.
Capitol Singapore, 11 Stamford Road, Singapore; +65 6499 5599
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