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Singapore Sports Hub celebrates host of world ‘firsts’

In June 2014, Singapore celebrated the opening of Asia’s first integrated sports, leisure, entertainment and lifestyle destination; the Singapore Sports Hub. Located on a stunning, central, 35 hectare waterfront site, the Sports Hub provides a unique ecosystem of sporting, retail and leisure spaces, at the pivot between Singapore’s expanding city centre and the wider public community. The Sports Hub’s opening also heralded a number of world ‘firsts’ for this already iconic venue.

The Sports Hub is a key project in the Government of Singapore’s urban redevelopment and sports facilities masterplan – ‘Sports Singapore Vision 2030’ – promoting a more sustainable, healthy and active society at all levels of participation, nation-wide. Designed for long-term legacy usage from the outset, the Sports Hub sets a new standard for adaptability and social integration. By providing premier venues for major sports events and inviting and inclusive public destination spaces, the Sports Hub is an elite world-class sports destination that encourages everyday public participation throughout the year.

The Singapore Sports Hub was designed by Arup Associates, DP Architects, Arup and AECOM – with Arup Associates the lead architect for the Sports Venues, which include the 55,000-seat National Stadium, the OCBC Arenas and OCBC Aquatics Centre, and DP Architects responsible for retail, leisure and office buildings.

At the heart of the Sports Hub, the National Stadium is a state-of-the-art sports venue, air-cooled for comfort and designed with a movable roof and retractable seating to support the widest range of sports and leisure events throughout the year. It is the first stadium in the world to be custom-designed to host athletics, football, rugby and cricket all in one venue, converting from one mode to another within 48 hours.

Another ‘first’ is the fact the Singapore Sports Hub is now the world’s largest free-spanning dome structure; stretching more than 1,010ft/310m across at its widest point. The dome was conceived as a unifying protective canopy that connects all parts of the complexes’ massive master plan, through an open public ‘sports promenade’.

As a new cultural icon, the design of the stadium has focused on creating a close relationship with the city by opening the interior seating bowl and roof towards the waterfront and the city skyline. This provides spectators with breath-taking views to the heart of the city, especially meaningful for the nation’s annual spectacle, the National Day Parade. In form and massing, the National Stadium creates a distinctive silhouette and an identity for the Singapore Sports Hub, complementing the nearby Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Complementing the central National Stadium are two other key sports facilities, the OCBC Aquatic Centre and OCBC Arenas. These mid-scale venues have been designed to achieve maximum flexibility enabling them to serve both the exacting standards of a world championship sporting events as well as a diverse everyday leisure-focused sports programme.

The architecture and engineering design of all three sports venues has been led by Arup.

The Sports Hub integrates landscape, water systems and planting extensively, creating a natural setting and high quality public waterfront environment. At the heart of the Sports Hub design philosophy, the major public and landscape realms at the Waterfront Promenade and Arrival Plazas extend and enhance the city’s accessibility and green ambience. For comfort, character and further extending this holistic approach, the stadium incorporates sky terraces with planting with vertical greenery to the edge of internal concourse areas, creating a totally unique and tropical experience.

Beyond maximising greenery and passive cooling measures, innovative engineering solutions have been integrated into the design to ensure minimal use of natural resources. The bowl cooling to the stadium achieves a 60% reduction in energy use when compared to a conventional ‘cooled stadium’. The energy used is offset by energy harnessed from renewable energy sources – making this a ‘zero carbon’ cooled stadium. Economy of means is a key characteristic of the main dome structure itself which uses one third of the steel weight per square metre when compared to other large span structures of this scale. In recognition of these achievements, the Sports Hub was awarded BCA Gold+ Mark, an outstanding result for a major stadium and multi-sports facility, in comparison to its peers around the world.

The Singapore Sports Hub, which is managed by SportsHub Pte Ltd, is one of the largest sporting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project’s in the world. It is Singapore’s largest flagship PPP project of this nature, and has won the PFI award in London in 2011 and the World Architecture Festival Award for Best Future Project in the leisure-led development category in 2013.

Quick Facts

Located on a 35-hectare site in Kallang, the Singapore Sports Hub includes the following facilities:

  • The new 55,000-capacity National Stadium with a retractable roof and movable tiered seating
  • The 6,000-capacity OCBC Aquatic Centre that meets FINA standards
  • The 3,000-capacity OCBC Arena, which is scalable and flexible in layout
  • The Water Sports Centre, featuring dragon boating, kayaking and canoeing
  • The 41,000sqm Kallang Wave mall
  • The iconic Singapore Indoor Stadium
  • The Singapore Sports Museum
  • The Sports Hub Library
  • Daily community facilities and activities open for Singaporeans, including beach volleyball, hard courts for basketball, lawn bowls, giant chess, skate park, climbing wall and running/cycling circuit

Arup + DP Architects + AECOM

DP Architects + Arup + AECOM

National Stadium
Arup Associates

OCBC Arena; OCBC Aquatics
Arup Associates + DPA

Retail, Leisure, Office
DP Architects

Architect of Record
DP Architects


Arup + Squire Mech



The Design Team and client representatives will deliver their insights into how the Singapore Sports Hub was transformed from a vision into an already iconic reality at this September’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific conference and trade show, which is being held in the Hub.

Images courtesy of the Singapore Sports Hub, Arup and Arup Associates.

Images courtesy of the Singapore Sports Hub, Arup and Arup Associates.