Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. At its opening in 2010, it was billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost.
The resort includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-metre (1,300,000 sq ft) convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000 m2 (800,000 sq ft) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, a skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines.
The complex is topped by a 340-metre-long (1,120 ft) SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150 m (490 ft) infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 m (220 ft). The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie architects. The architect was Aedas, and they were responsible for employing all consultants and for developing, co-ordinating and implementing the design. Engineering was provided by Arup and Parsons Brinkerhoff (MEP). The main contractor was Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.
Originally set to open in 2009, Las Vegas Sands faced delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages from the outset. The global financial crisis also pressured the company to delay its projects elsewhere to complete the integrated resort. Although Marina Bay Sands has been compared in scale and development costs to MGM’s CityCenter, the latter is a mixed-use development, with condominium properties (comprising three of the seven main structures) being sold off.
The resort and SkyPark were officially opened on 23 and 24 June 2010 as part of a two-day celebration, following the casino’s opening on 27 April that year. The SkyPark opened the following day. The theatres were completed in time for the first performance of Riverdance on 30 November. The indoor skating rink, which uses artificial ice, opened to a performance by Michelle Kwan on 18 December. The ArtScience Museum opened to the public and the debut of a 13-minute light, laser and water show called Wonder Full on 19 February 2011 marked the full completion of the integrated resort.
The grand opening of Marina Bay Sands was held on 17 February 2011. It also marked the opening of the seven celebrity chef restaurants. The musical The Lion King debuted on 3 March 2011. The last portion of the Marina Bay Sands, the floating pavilions, were finally opened to the public when the two tenants, Louis Vuitton and Pangaea Club, opened on 18 and 22 September 2011 respectively.
Design and construction
View of the 3 main towers, inspired by decks of cards
The resort is designed by Moshe Safdie, who says it was initially inspired by card decks. In addition to the casino, other key components of the plan are three hotel towers with 2,500 rooms and suites, a 19,000 m2 (200,000 sq ft) ArtScience Museum and a convention centre with 110,000 m2 (1,200,000 sq ft) of space, capable of accommodating up to 45,000 people. The resort’s architecture and major design changes along the way were also approved by its feng shui consultants, the late Chong Swan Lek and Louisa Ong-Lee.
Construction on 5 August 2009
The engineering for the project was headed by Arup and Parsons Brinckerhoff (MEP/ELV). A distinctive feature of the hotel is the SkyPark, a three-acre park on top of the building with swimming pools, gardens, and jogging paths. The structure bridges all three towers with a segment cantilevered off the north tower. The hull of the SkyPark was pre-fabricated off-site in 14 separate steel sections and then assembled on top of the towers. There are four movement joints beneath the main pools, designed to help them withstand the natural motion of the towers, and each joint has a unique range of motion. The total range of motion is 500 millimetres (19.68 inches). In addition to wind, the hotel towers are also subject to settlement in the earth over time, so engineers built and installed custom jack legs to allow for future adjustment at more than 500 points beneath the pool system. This jacking system is important primarily to ensure the infinity edge of the pool continues to function properly.