Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is a waterside building located on six hectares of waterfront land alongside Marina Bay near the mouth of the Singapore River, purpose-built to be the centre for performing arts for the island nation of Singapore. Taking its name from the nearby Esplanade, it contains a Concert Hall which seats about 1,600 and a Theatre with a capacity of about 2,000 for the performing arts.
The Library@esplanade is located on the third floor of the building. There are outdoor performing centres, and retail and food space at the Esplanade Mall. There is an outdoor open space on the fourth floor of the building, which is the highest point open to the public. As one of the World’s busiest arts centres, Esplanade offers a wide range of programmes. In addition to Esplanade Presents performances, other offerings by diverse presenters complement the programmes at the centre.
Esplanade’s programmes are broadly organised around key areas – the community and access programmes form the foundation of activities at the centre, collaborations with mainly local arts groups help develop the industry, while leading international productions aim to offer innovative programmes in the major arts genres. These programmes are presented in different festivals and series designed to appeal to a broad range of audiences.
The Esplanade occupies the site of the former "Satay Club", a popular food haunt for Singaporeans which had been discontinued prior to the Esplanade's construction. Currently, the "Satay Club" has been re-allocated next to Sembawang Shopping Center which is now rebuilt on the same piece of land. Officially opened on October 12, 2002, Esplanade was developed at a cost of about SGD 600 million On 5 July 2005, the opening ceremony of the 117th IOC Session was staged in the Esplanade, featuring a 30-minute long performance aimed at showcasing Singapore's multi-cultural heritage to her international audience.
The building was designed by two architectural firms working in conjunction: by DP Architects (DPA) of Singapore and the London-based Michael Wilford & Partners (MWP), although the latter left the project in May 1995. The design consists of two rounded space frames fitted with triangulated glass elements and sunshades, which balance outward views with solar shading.
The Esplanade contains world-class performing spaces, coupled with a wide range of professional support services and facilities. Other than performing venues, the Esplanade also contains meeting venues, as well as other lifestyle and arts related services. The main highlights of the Esplanade - the Concert Hall and Theatre, are connected to the main Concourse via a foyer, while the Esplanade Mall is accessible through an entry point located between these 2 halls.
Jendela means window in Malay. The Esplanade Jendela is a 215sq m exhibition space on the second level dedicated to the presentation of the visual arts. With a distinctive architecture and panoramic views of Marina Bay, the Jendela hosts many art exhibitions, some of them which are full scale shows that are integrated with other events at the Esplanade. It showcases works by local, regional, as well as international collections.
The library@esplanade, located on the third floor, is Singapore's first public library devoted to the performing arts.
The Esplanade features an outdoor performing venue called the Outdoor Theatre which is located along the promenade. The Outdoor Theatre stage regular free performances, meant to liven up the arts scene. Other than that, the building also features a large roof terrace with a panoramic view of Marina Bay and the city area. There are also courtyards and open spaces which can be used for various activities.