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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore by Safdie Architects
January 17th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Marina Bay Sands is a $5 billion, high-density, mixed-use integrated resort that brings together a 2,560-room hotel, convention center, shopping and dining, theaters, museum, and a casino across the water from Singapore’s Central Business District. Designed by Boston-based, internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the 929,000 square meter (10 million square-foot) urban district anchors the Singapore waterfront, creates a gateway to Singapore, and provides a dynamic setting for a vibrant public life. Moshe Safdie was invited to join the Las Vegas Sands Corporation in developing a competitive design proposal for Marina Bay for submission to the Government of Singapore.
Design Architect Moshe Safdie“Marina Bay Sands is really more than a building project, it is a microcosm of a city rooted in Singapore’s culture, climate, and contemporary life,” says architect Moshe Safdie. “Our challenge was to create a vital public place at the district-urban scale, in other words, to address the issue of megascale and invent an urban landscape that would work at the human scale.”
Safdie designed an urban structure that weaves together the components of a complex program into a dynamic urban crossroads and public meeting place. Inspired by great ancient cities that were ordered around a vital public thoroughfare, Marina Bay Sands is organized around two principal axes that traverse the district and give it a sense of orientation placing emphasis on the pedestrian street as the focus of civic life. This new urban place integrates the waterfront promenade, a 74,000 square meter (800,000 square-foot) multi-level retail arcade, and the iconic Museum of ArtScience on the promontory. Located along the network of public paths are also two theaters with a combined 4,000 seats, a casino, a 9,000 square meter (96,000 square-foot) convention and exhibition center, and a hydraulically adjustable public event piazza of 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet). Combining indoor and outdoor spaces and providing a platform for a wide array of activities, this vibrant, 21st-century cardo maximus, or grand arcade, also connects to the subway and other transportation.
A series of layered gardens provide ample green space throughout Marina Bay Sands, extending the tropical garden landscape from Marina City Park towards the Bayfront. The landscape network reinforces urban connections with the resort’s surroundings and every level of the district has green space that is accessible to the public. Generous pedestrian streets open to tropical plantings and water views. Half of the roofs of the hotel, convention center, shopping mall, and casino complex are planted with trees and gardens.
Three 55-storey hotel towers anchor the district and are connected at the top by the 1 hectare (2.5-acre) SkyPark. An engineering marvel 200 meters (656 feet) above the sea, the SkyPark spans from tower to tower and cantilevers 65 meters (213 feet) beyond. It accommodates a public observatory, gardens, a 151 meter-long (495 foot-long) swimming pool, restaurants, and jogging paths and offers sweeping panoramic views, a formidable resource in a dense city like Singapore. Shielded from the winds and lavishly planted with hundreds of trees, the SkyPark celebrates the notion of the Garden City that has been the underpinning of Singapore’s urban design strategy.
Moshe Safdie selected five international artists to create eight monumental public art installations for Marina Bay Sands (James Carpenter, Antony Gormley, Ned Kahn, Sol LeWitt, and Chongbin Zheng). The artists worked closely with Safdie to ensure that the site-specific commissions complement the architecture and energize the public spaces.
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Category: Mixed use
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