MBS: Symbol of man’s architectural ingenuity
Singapore has a long history of building radically distinct modern architecture to promote the city’s image as a regional architectural hub.
There is, of course, the durian-shaped Esplanade that stands out in front of the Marina Square area, the cylindrical, 73-story Swissôtel The Stamford, one of the tallest hotels in the world and the disabled young and elderly-friendly Supreme Law Court of Singapore building.
With the completion of the Marina Bay Sands Resort in 2010, Singapore has truly defined itself as home to the world’s best modern architecture.
Located opposite the iconic Merlion at the Marina Bay Waterfront, the Marina Bay Sands offers a distinct silhouette – three gracefully sloping towers topped by a surfboard-shaped structure – that can be seen across the marina from all areas of the city and from the sea.
Marina Bay Sands, designed by Moshe Safdie for the Las Vegas Sands Corp., is a 93-hectare urban district that integrates the waterfront promenade, a multilevel retail arcade and exhibition center, and the iconic Museum of ArtScience on the promontory.
The three towers are already spectacular by themselves as each of the 55-story structure leans at an angle 10 times than that of the slant of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
According to its designer, Moshe Safdie, the hotel Tower 1 offers the steepest slope at 26 degrees, making it one of the most complex hotels ever built.
To build the slanted building, Korean builder Ssangyong Engineering and Construction, utilized posttension method, a new construction technique that uses high tension wire on the supporting walls to support the buildings.
Of course, the Marina Bay Sands’ main attraction is the 340 meter-long SkyPark and its 150 meter-long infinity swimming pool, regarded as the world’s largest outdoor pool at 200 meters from street level.
This 1.2 hectare tropical oasis is longer than France’s Eiffel Tower and is large enough to park four-and-a-half A380 jumbo jets. It extends to form one of the world’s largest public cantilevers.
Celebrating the notion of the “City in a Garden” that has been the underpinning of Singapore’s urban design strategy, The SkyPark’s 1.24-hectare area is dotted with 250 trees and 650 plants.
According to its operators, Marina Bay Sands is being positioned to become a premier entertainment destination with its vibrant diversity of attractions and facilities (it is now home to Celebrity Chef restaurants, endless entertainment at the theaters, night clubs and a Las Vegas-style casino.
Indeed, their vision to build an integrated development that is timeless truly makes Marina Bay Sands a landmark that has a distinct identity which will distinguish Singapore from other cities.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.