Government House (Istana)

Designed by the Colonial Engineer John Frederick Adolphus McNair and built by Indian convict labourers, the stately Government House conformed to the Victorian eclectic aesthetic popular from the 1860s.A well-proportioned structure made in the plan of a cross, the building has the layout characteristic of a traditional Malay house with open verandahs, louvred windows and panelled doors, providing good air circulation that is appropriate to the weather of the tropics. The classical decoration on the fa├žades follows the rules of the classical orders with Ionic columns above Doric pilasters. The central portion of the symmetrical frontage is carried to the third level with Corinthian pilasters that are crowned by a mansard roof.The building was to be the official residence of 21 London-appointed Colonial Governors. Today, this structure is known as the Istana, and it is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore.