10 Year Award of Excellence: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Jaron Lubin
Design Principal
Safdie Architects, Boston

Learning from Singapore

Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort and public meeting place that anchors the Singapore waterfront, and creates a gateway to the vibrant city-state island. The complex is a microcosm of a city—rooted in Singapore’s culture, climate and contemporary life, and an urban landscape that embraces the concept of megascale. Like the great ancient cities that provided inspiration, it is ordered around a vital public thoroughfare. With two principal axes that give it a sense of orientation, it emphasizes the pedestrian street as the focus of civic life. This grand arcade also connects to the subway and other transportation. A series of layered gardens provides green space throughout the site, extending the tropical landscape from Marina City Park towards the bayfront.

Each of the hotel towers is formed by two curved and splayed legs that lean into one another as they rise, ultimately becoming one at the upper levels. At the ground level, the space between each tower is enclosed to create a hotel lobby and atrium, at the upper levels the generous open spaces provide “urban windows” that allow for views through the project.

The wildly popular, 1-hectare SkyPark that rests atop the three hotel towers is a time-tested engineering marvel—longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall, it is large enough to park four jumbo jets. With a public observatory, gardens, a 151-meter-long swimming pool, restaurants, and jogging paths, it has become a formidable resource in the dense city. Shielded from the winds and lavishly planted with hundreds of trees, the SkyPark celebrates the notion of the Garden City that underpins Singapore’s urban design strategy.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center