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Singapore National Stadium solves issue of spectator comfort in the tropics

Arup’s innovative design for the world-class 55,000-seat national stadium is a model for future sustainable stadium design. From the outset the design ambition was to create a sustainable, fully integrated sports, entertainment and lifestyle hub, accessible to all.

Clive Lewis, design leader for the project, briefed conference delegates at Stadia & Arena 2014 at the Sports Hub earlier this week. Lewis was one of the many architects and engineers discussing the latest ideas for stadium design and effectiveness. The Stadia & Arena event will return to Singapore in 2015.

Arup was enlisted to lead the architectural and engineering design of the Singapore Sports Hub, conceived as part of the greater Marina Bay Masterplan to reposition Singapore as a great place to work, live and play. The appointment followed expertise demonstrated by the firm in creating international landmark stadiums like the Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), the Allianz Arena and the City of Manchester Stadium.

Addressing the issue of spectator comfort in the tropics, Arup designed an ultra-thin dome roof structure with a movable roof that extends over the pitch. The clever design provides shade during events and an energy-efficient spectator cooling system that delivers cooled air to every seat in the stadium. To maximise the stadium’s utility, an innovative moving tier design allows the venue to accommodate a wide sporting calendar of events from cricket to football and the annual National Day Parade.

Design versatility

Versatility is a key component of the stadium design. By integrating moving tiers, palletised turf modules and a fully closing roof, the stadium can accommodate a wide calendar of sporting events like football, athletics and cricket as well as other events such as the National Day Parade.

The focus has been to achieve this flexibility within the design without compromising on the proximity and quality of view for spectators at a football match.  The stadium will be the first in the world to combine the sports of football, athletics and cricket in the same arena.

An engineering feat

The National Stadium will be one of the largest in the world. Clive Lewis, design leader for the project says, “We designed the stadium as an elegant dome spanning 310m – that’s close to four A380 airplanes parked wing to wing. Not only is it wide, the ultra-thin shell roof structure is also very efficient and uses minimum materials for construction.”

Comfort in the tropics

The new National Stadium is a model for tropical climate design. It features an innovative energy-efficient spectator cooling system that delivers cooled air to every seat in the stadium. These pockets of cooled air will reduce energy use significantly, compared to a more conventional overhead cooling system.

The Sports Hub is Arup’s latest landmark project in Singapore following the successful completion of the necklace of attractions around Marina Bay which include the Singapore Flyer, the Helix Bridge and the Marina Bay Sands® integrated resort.

When completed in 2014, the Sports Hub will reinforce Singapore’s position as a major international sports destination, following the success of events like the F1 and the Youth Olympic Games.