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The Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Thursday 12 Jul 2012

Pushing engineering boundaries

The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore
Timothy Hursley 
The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore The Marina Bay Sands by Arup in Singapore
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Arup (and also AKTII) in the Jury and between the shortlisted?? They cook for themselves; is it right enough for anyone?
Award Entry

The Marina Bay Sands stands tall in Singapore 

The Marina Bay Sands® integrated resort is the largest in the series of projects being constructed in Singapore to form a new tourist attraction around Marina Bay. It is an industry-revolutionising project which will change the face of construction for the next decade.

The Moshe Safdie-designed project was unrivalled in scale, complexity and speed. Arup's engineering design included a number of industry firsts. The $6B, 10Mft2 resort features three 55-storey, 2,560-room luxury hotel towers topped by a 2.5 acre Sands SkyPark® located - the world's largest public cantilever. The project also incorporates two standalone steel-and-glass pavilions rising from the bay (accessible by underwater tunnels); a 1.3Mft2 convention centre; two 2,000-seat performance theatres; a museum; and over 1Mft2 of casino, retail, and restaurant space.

Arup's multidisciplinary services included structural, advanced works, infrastructure, civil, fire, maritime, traffic and geotechnical engineering; building physics; lighting design; façade and acoustic consulting; and risk management.

Arup had to push engineering boundaries and adopt innovative technologies and techniques to deliver this spectacular design. Structurally, each aspect of the project presented unique challenges. Creating a safe, efficient structural design for the three curved, asymmetrical hotel towers required extensive analysis. For the most geometrically complex building on the site, the lotus flower-shaped ArtScience Museum, Arup designed a structural system that relies on a central hyperbolic diagrid supporting a system of tension and compression rings.

To counteract the numerous forces that would act upon the SkyPark, the structural team introduced large tuned mass dampers that act as shock absorbers, then conducted one of the highest strand-jacking operations ever undertaken to lift the 340m superstructure into place on top of the three towers. Enabling deep excavations in the reclaimed sand-and-clay site required designing four of the largest cofferdams ever used. Adding to the difficulty of the project, the team was allocated only three and a half years for design and construction.


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