In June 2014, Singapore celebrates the opening of Asia’s first integrated sports, leisure, entertainment and lifestyle destination; the Singapore Sports Hub. Located on a 35 hectare waterfront site close to the heart of Singapore, the Sports Hub provides a wide range of sporting, retail and leisure spaces within easy reach of the city centre and international airport.
The Singapore Sports Hub is a key project in the government’s urban development plan, forming a central part of the 2020 vision for a sustainable, healthy and expanding population. The design of the precinct capitalises on the strategic site location. With easy access to the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) network and adjacent expressways, the requirements for major events are well served. Links to the extensive local pedestrian network and the island-wide park connector system provide a seamless connection to local residential areas, the wider waterfront and to the city centre.
Often large stadia and sports developments are focused on a specific major sporting event, with less consideration given to the long-term use of the facilities. The Singapore Sports Hub breaks this mould; designed, built and operated for the long term, it will set a new standard for adaptability and integration, both within the city’s growing fabric and as the focus for a nation-wide strategy to build sporting culture and participation at all levels, for generations to come.
At the heart of the Sports Hub is the new National Stadium – conceived as a unifying protective canopy that connects all parts of the Sports Hub masterplan. The dome to the stadium has a span of over 310m, making it the largest free spanning dome structure in the world; an awe-inspiring event space. The National Stadium is a state-of-the-art sports venue, air-cooled, and designed with a movable roof and retractable seating to support the widest range of sports and leisure events throughout the year. It will be the first stadium in the world custom-designed to host athletics, football, rugby and cricket all in one venue, converting from one mode to another within 48 hours.
As a new cultural icon, the design of the stadium has focused on creating a close relationship with the city by opening the 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 Singapore Sports Hub, complimenting the nearby Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Surrounding the National Stadium is an active “social plinth”, which integrates other sporting, commercial, civic and community facilities, including the Aquatics Centre and the two Indoor Arenas. These smaller 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 “social plinth” creates a human-scale frontage for the monumental stadium, injecting life and vibrancy while connecting the various facilities, as well as numerous event plazas throughout the site. On non-event days, these spaces will inspire participation through bustle and activity. On event days, this integrated realm will attract people to come to the Sports Hub many hours before the event, to spend time at a waterfront restaurant or one of the external event plazas.
Further exemplifying the integration of sport and public space is the Sports Promenade. Principally designed to provide rain and sun-protection to spectators outside of the stadium, in response to the harsh tropical climate in Singapore, the design was developed to realise the potential of this 1km connector space for everyday use. On non-event days, the Sports Promenade transforms into an exercise area with a jogging track and fitness centres, accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This inspirational civic space links the National Stadium to various key sports venues, lifestyle destinations, public rooftop spaces and green spaces within the Sports Hub, offering stunning views out to the city and the surrounding waterfront.
The Sports Hub integrates greenery and landscape extensively to create a high-quality, natural waterfront environment. The major public and landscape realms of Singapore Sports Hub, such as the Waterfront Promenade, integrate the island-wide park connector system, further enhancing its accessibility and green ambience. The stadium itself incorporates sky terraces with planting and vertical greenery to the edge of internal concourse areas, to create a totally unique and tropical experience.
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 also 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+ in 2012.
The Singapore Sports Hub facilities are:
• 55,000-seat National Stadium with a retractable roof and comfort cooling
• 3,000-seat National Aquatic Centre, expandable to 6,000 capacity for specific events
• 3,000-seat Multi-Purpose Indoor Arena, scalable and flexible in layout
• 41,000sqm of commercial retail space with integrated leisure waterpark and rock-climbing
• Sports Information and Resource Centre, with a sports library and museum
• Water Sports Centre for canoe, kayak and dragon boat athletes and enthusiasts
• The existing 12,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium
• A diverse range of community sport facilities: hard courts, skate park, fitness corners, jogging and cycling tracks, bowling lawn, beach volleyball court, etc.
DESIGN TEAM CREDITS
Singapore Sports Hub Design Team: Arup + DP Architects + AECOM
Masterplan: DP Architects + Arup + AECOM
Architecture – Sports Venues: Arup Associates (lead) + DP Architects
Architecture – Office, Retail & Leisure: DP Architects
The Singapore Sports Hub will also host this September’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event, with the Design Team, along with client representatives, to speak in detail on the project. Further information can be found online at: www.SAEvents.uk.com