1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

Location: 1 Esplanade Drive.


Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is not only Singapore’s most iconic performing arts centre but also one of the world’s busiest arts centres. Fondly nicknamed “the Durian” by locals for its physical resemblance to the fruit, Esplanade has a 1,600 seat Concert Hall, a 2,000 seat Theatre and a cluster of performance venues ideal for live and intimate performances, such as Recital Studio and Theatre Studio. The Concert Hall was listed among the “world’s 15 most beautiful concert halls” by Germany-based building data company Emporis in March 2014.The Concert Hall is featured with such state-of-the-art acoustics and an orchestral platform that holds up to 120 musicians. The concert hall's pipe organ has 4740 pipes and 61 stops, a masterpiece custom designed and built by Johannes Klais Orgelbau.


The construction of the building, which cost S$600 million, was fully funded by the Singapore Pools and Singapore Totalisator Board, and began on 11 August 1996 with a ground-breaking ceremony officiated by then Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Tony Tan.
The art centre was proposed as early as 1989 by then Deputy Prime Minister Ong Teng Cheong, who chaired Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts. The not-for-profit The Esplanade Co Ltd (then Singapore Arts Centre Co) was established in 1992 to spearhead the proposal and operate the Esplanade, its architectural design and official name was revealed only in 1994 by then Minister for Information and the Arts George Yeo. The building’s architecture is a joint effort of DP Architects (DPA) of Singapore and the London-based Michael Wilford & Partners (MWP) who left the project in May 1995. The building are outlined as two rounded space frames fitted with triangulated glass sheets with the ability of solar shading. It had the outward characteristics of the eye of a fly, however, ‘the durians’ become the favourite reference.

The Esplanade was completed in February 2001 and officially opened by then President S R Nathan on 12 October 2002. A 23-day art festivals comprising over 600 performances by 1,300 artists from 22 countries was featured for the official opening, attracting more than a million visitors. To date, the centre had drawn 22 million patrons and 84 million visitors to more than 31,000 performance presented in this iconic art hub. Besides being one of Singapore’s greatest icon, the centre had also become a favourite venue for local, regional and international renowned performing artistes and a popular setting for high-profile events such as the Singapore Arts Festival and a wide range of diverse programmes.


Esplanade is envisioned as a performing arts centre for all and seeks to enrich the lives of its community through the arts. The centre’s mission is to entertain, engage, educate and inspire. Guided by this vision and mission, its year-long arts calendar of approximately 3,000 performances offering the audiences a great spectrum of artistic and cultural vibrancy, including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts and more, spanning different cultures, languages and genres. At least 70% of the performances at the centre are non-ticketed, since the Esplanade is meant to provide a platform and an active support for local and regional artists in developing artistic capabilities, pushing artistic boundaries and engaging audiences through creativity and aesthetics, helping to advance the art industries nationally.


1. National Library Board Singapore . (2015, July 30). ESPLANADE - THEATRES ON THE BAY OPENS. Retrieved from HISTORYSG: Link Here

2. Singapore Tourism Board. (2015, July 30). SEE & DO: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. Retrieved from YOURSINGAPORE: Link Here

3. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2015, June 18 ). Article: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA: Link Here

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