Friday, December 30, 2016

Exploring the Quiet Buona Vista Area

Buona Vista, a relatively quiet neighbourhood located right in between Holland Village and Clementi has become more lively with new and recently-opened developments. And with the new Buona Vista Circle Line MRT station opened about five years ago, getting here is much easier. Here are some of the stuff that you should check out right here in Buona Vista.

Where is Buona Vista?

Located not too far away from the Orchard Road district and from the Western part of Singapore, Buona Vista has always been part of Queenstown. It's a town known for being the home of the first HDB flats in Singapore.

Buona Vista is famous for its educational and R&D prowess with buildings like the HQ of the Ministry of Education and the One-North cluster of R&D buildings. Let's not forget that Buona Vista is also home to a wide range of colonial bungalows which have now been transformed into a dining and entertainment hub called One Rochester. More on that later on.

The Star Vista

The Star Vista is a relatively new shopping mall cum performing arts theatre which only opened in the year 2012. Prior to its opening, residents only have the shophouses at Holland Village and the Clementi Mall for their shopping needs. Now, with a range of shops and F&B outlets available, you can never go wrong with The Star Vista.

Plus, with its unique architecture and green features like having no air-conditioning and making use of natural winds to cool the building down, The Star Vista is truly the crown jewel of the Buona Vista area. The Performing Arts Theatre above is also home to famous acts making a sought after place for big name acts after the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The Rochester Mall

Right across the street is the Rochester Mall, part of a mixed-use development which integrates a mall, a condo and offices in one space-saving area. This place make it a perfect premium working space for working professionals. The mall is relatively quiet and it's a stark contrast to the more bustling Star Vista.

Rochester Mall is also home to several cafes like Pies & Coffee, a cafe which specialises in homemade pies and specialty coffee. Walk further up and you will find a colonial bungalow which houses one of the most unique Starbucks outlets in the world. Small businesses were aplenty in Rochester Mall which has nail salons, tuition centres and small eateries.


One-North (often stylised as one-north) is a cluster of buildings that's home to various R&D facilities along with tenants that specialise in industries like science, technology and media. Right across from One-North is Blk 71, a building which houses numerous tech startups from Singapore and around the region. And then there's Stars Avenue, which is home to Mediacorp's new studio and media facilities.

One-North has gotten so big to the point where it even has its own shopping mall and MRT station to cater to people working around the area. With One-North contributing to Singapore's economy through innovation like the testing of a fleet of self-driving taxis happening now, you can expect more of such cool innovations and technologies here in Singapore's only R&D hub.

An Education Hub

Apart from being an R&D hub, Buona Vista can also be considered Singapore's educational hub as well with the headquarters of Singapore's Ministry of Education having its presence here. It's where most of Singapore's public school teachers gather for courses and trainings and it's also where most of the educational decision-making take place.

Just a short distance away from the Education Ministry HQ is the alumni building of the NTU or the Nanyang Technological University, one of Singapore's biggest public universities. It's the place where NTU alumni gather for events and happenings and it's also the place where they can attend short courses instead of going all the way to Jurong West which is where NTU is currently located.

The Metropolis

Right next to the HQ of the Ministry of Education is the Metropolis. It's a relatively new office building with retail shops on the first level and integrated with the Buona Vista MRT station and One-North cluster of buildings. The Metropolis is home to the offices of the Singapore Exchange or SGX, the HQ of Starbucks Coffee Singapore and the offices for Electronic Arts Asia Pacific, maker of famous video games like FIFA and The Sims.

One-North Park and Rochester Park

With so many offices around Buona Vista, it makes sense to have a little bit of greenery here and there for office workers to rest and take a breather from all the work. That's where One-North Park and Rochester Park comes in. One-North Park is just like any other park the only difference is that the jogging path runs on a steep hill which is perfect if you're into challenging yourself.

Rochester Park, on the other hand, is a dining and entertainment enclave which also happens to occupy the former colonial bungalows that used to house the British military troops in Singapore. Definitely a great place for a laid-back environment and for you history buffs out there.


Getting to Buona Vista is easy. With the Buona Vista MRT station being an interchange station serving two MRT lines namely the East West Line and the Circle Line, along with the numerous bus services coming from the city and the Orchard Road district, you can never go wrong.

With numerous new developments still on it's way, it is time to check out this very underrated place in Singapore famous for its colonial past and as an educational and R&D hub.

Getting Here

Bus services available: 32, 74, 74e, 91, 95, 100, 105, 106, 111, 145, 147, 185, 191, 196, 198, 200 (Bus stop along Commonwealth Ave outside Blk 43)

Nearest MRT station: EW21/ CC22 Buona Vista MRT Station (East West Line/Circle Line)


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