Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including cost of the prime land.
With the casino complete, the resort features a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000 sq.m. convention-exhibition centre, The Shoppes mall, an Art & Science museum, two Sands Theatres, seven “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating pavilions, a casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m.The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects. The local architect of record was Aedas Singapore, and 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 onset. The severe global financial crisis also pressured the company to delay its projects elsewhere to complete the integrated resort. Although Marina Bay Sands has been compared on 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 was officially opened with a two-day celebration on 23 June 2010 at 3.18 pm, after a partial opening (which included the casino) on 27 April 2010. The SkyPark opened a day later on 24 June 2010. The theatres were completed in time for the first performance by Riverdance on 30 November 2010. The floating pavilions are still being built and are expected to be fully completed by 2011. The indoor skating rink, which uses artificial ice, opened to a performance by Michelle Kwan on 18 December 2010. The ArtScience Museum opened to the public and the debut of a 13-minute light, laser and water spectacle called Wonder Full on 19 February 2011 marked the full completion of the entire 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 highly-anticipated Broadway musical The Lion King debuted on 3 March 2011.
Marina Bay Sands features three 55-storey hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof, named Sands SkyPark.
In front of the three towers include a Theatre Block, a Convention and Exhibition Facilities Block, as well as the Casino Block, which have up to 1000 gaming tables and 1400 slot machines. The ArtScience Museum is constructed next to the three blocks and has the shape of a lotus. Its roof will be retractable, providing a waterfall through the roof of collected rainwater when closed in the day and with laser shows when opened at night. In front of the Event Plaza is the Wonder Full show, a light and water spectacular that is the largest in Southeast Asia. The ArtScience Museum and Wonder Full show opened on 17 February 2011.
The SkyPark is home to the world’s longest elevated swimming pool, with a 146-metre (478-foot) vanishing edge, perched 191 metres above the ground. The pools are made up of 422,000 pounds of stainless steel and can hold 376,500 gallons (1424 cubic metres) of water. The SkyPark also boasts rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens hundreds of trees and plants and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline.
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.
Moshe Safdie designed an Art Path within the resort, incorporating seven installations by five artists including Zheng Chongbin, Antony Gormley, and Sol LeWitt. The pieces are meant to play on environmental influences including light, water and wind, integrating art with architecture.