Singaporean locals call it ‘the durian’ in a nod to the cultural landmark’s resemblance to two upturned halves of a spiky fruit. Located in the Downtown Core district, the Esplanade was designed by Singapore-based DP Architects, in collaboration with London’s Michael Wilford & Partners, to be ‘contemporary but Asian without resorting to ethnic archetypes’. This enduring landmark, all-representing and timeless, incorporates a 2,000-seat theatre, a 1,800-seat concert hall, two smaller 250-seat studios and a 450-seat outdoor theatre on the waterfront, while a main entrance foyer hosts art installations and operates as a space for free music performances. A must-visit venue for culture vultures and architecture fans alike, the Esplanade’s dazzling exoskeleton shimmers like a jewel when sunlight hits its 7,000 triangular, aluminium sunshades. At night it’s a multi-faceted diamond bathed in coloured light. Go up on the rooftop for a spectacular panoramic view of Singapore. §